The largest undeveloped industrial property in Squamish has been bought.
Does that mean well-paid jobs at industrial businesses are to follow?
Garry Fawley, Denciti CEO, said the plan is to develop the site with industrial space serving local manufacturing, technology, cleantech, greentech, and food processing companies.
Denciti is preparing plans for the site and expects to file a formal development permit application soon.
Fawley said construction is slated to begin in the fall of 2022.
"I like what is happening in Squamish. It has a really strong vibe about it... there's a lot of energy, so I see it attracting new businesses, some of those businesses will hopefully include clean energy and things like that," he said.
These types of businesses bring "good employment, good wages," he told The Chief and are likely to be in town long-term.
That is what Squamish needs to not become a bedroom community, he added.
"We've really got the perfect storm going here for industrial demand," said Darren McCartney of RE/Max Sea to Sky Real Estate in a news release about the purchase. "I'm excited to see Denciti stepping up. With their expertise, this site will provide a steady supply of high-quality light industrial space that's long overdue."
McCartney told The Chief there are businesses in the corridor that want to expand, but they haven't been able to due to the lack of space. Thus, this project will be a welcome option for some.
"On top of that, what we have going on, secondly... is we have obviously got a huge influx of residential population moving to Squamish with all the development taking place," he said, adding that many of the new entrepreneurs moving here for the lifestyle want to relocate their businesses.
"In many, many cases, they are a light-industrial user of some sort. There's substantial demand for this type of product."
While it may look to some like there is already a lot of development in the business park, the reality is the demand is at least twice what the supply is, McCartney said.
"It is very challenging. It is tough for the market to keep up, and then on top of that, in Squamish, we are very geographically constrained."
He noted this pent-up demand for industrial space is not just happening in Squamish but throughout the Lower Mainland.
And it is something that has been talked about in Squamish for 15 years or so.
The Solterra Sea to Sky Business Park has been successful, and now this development will add to the inventory down the line, he said.
"People have seen it coming, and we are living it now, and I am just really excited to see a capable, quality developer stepping up and taking out the last large remaining tract of light industrial land."