City will pay $3 million for Tembec land: Mayor

Pratt says plan is to lease property to companies to generate revenue, employment.

The City of Cranbrook will pay $3 million for a 100-acre land acquisition from Tembec that was previously announced last week, according to Mayor Lee Pratt.

Under the sale agreement, the payments will be made in three annual $1 million instalments starting in August 2019 and ending in 2021 with no interest charged, Pratt continued.

“During this time, we are going to be leasing properties and we’ve suggested to Tembec that we will share some of that lease revenue with them and those dollars will come off the final payment,” said Pratt, during an interview at City Hall. “So there’s a chance it could be paid off before 2021.”

READ: Cranbrook purchases Tembec land

The deal had been in the works between the City of Cranbrook and Tembec/Rayonier for over two years, with Pratt taking point on the negotiations.

“The plan is, we’re not going to sell the properties; we’re going to divide it up to accommodate interested parties for what they require,” said Pratt, “and then they will lease that land and it will be income to the City of Cranbrook in perpetuity.”

According to the mayor, there are six interested parties who wish to set up opperations on the property.

In those conversations is MGX Minerals, a resource-based company that had been looking to purchase the subject property three years ago.

“They’re still very much in play,” said Pratt, noting that an announcement should be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

Two companies in discussions with the city would be able to create employment immediately, he added.

Plans are also in the works to look at the industrial park traffic flow, as discussions are also underway to locate a truck stop to the area.

A longer-range plan is to design and build a truck route through the middle of the property and link up to Industrial Rd. No.1, Slater Rd. and Cobham Avenue, so that semi truck traffic can bypass the main Cranbrook St.

“So that’ll get the truck traffic off the strip, which will be a big benefit,” Pratt said.

Land availability and housing continue to be two major issues that Pratt runs into when talking with companies about relocating to Cranbrook, he said.

“We’re working diligently at getting both those problems solved and this solves a big problem with the land,” Pratt said. “It’s right in the heart of the city, it’s already zoned industrial and it’s ready for development.

“We control the development of it. It will be tailored to the specific needs of people who need to develop it and want to locate here, so that’s a big bonus.”

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