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Municipality gauging interest in Goldboro Industrial Park lands

  • August 23 2023
  • By Corey LeBlanc    

GUYSBOROUGH – In an effort to gauge ‘real’ interest in their Goldboro Industrial Park properties, the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) recently issued a request for expressions of interest (REOI).

An advertisement on page five of the Aug. 16 edition of The Journal outlines the process that must be carried out – including deadlines – by any interested parties.

“The goal [of the REOI process] is to determine who is prepared to move beyond the ‘kick the tires’ stage,” MODG Deputy CAO Shawn Andrews said.

As for the timing in issuing the REOI, he told The Journal that there were “many factors.”

“Recently, there has been a lot of interest in wind opportunities – both on and offshore,” Andrews explained.

That increased attention has included proponents contacting the MODG regarding land availability – whether for sale or lease – in the Goldboro Industrial Park.

“There have been so many,” Andrews said, noting that organizations – such as Nova Scotia Business Inc. – have also been receiving inquiries.

He added, “Close to 500 acres,” when asked the amount of MODG-owned land in the park.

More precisely, there are 491 acres, compromised of four parcels measuring 240, 121, 80 and 50 acres apiece.

Andrews said, with the REOI, municipal officials are aiming to get a more detailed idea of those truly interested, along with the amount of land proponents “need” rather than “want.” For example, they may be looking to purchase 200, but only require 50 acres.

“We want to accomplish as much as we can,” he added of maximizing the benefits of selling or leasing any industrial park property.

The subject of MODG-owned property in Goldboro Industrial Park came up recently in an interview conducted for a Journal story by reporter Lois Ann Dort with municipal CAO Barry Carroll. Specifically, the MODG’s pending purchase of land owned by ExxonMobil Canada Ltd.

“That’s part of it, but not all of it,” Andrews said of that expected deal being the reason for the REOI.

In the piece, which appeared in the July 5 issue, Carroll said there was a purchase agreement, but the sale had not been finalized.

“It is the same,” Andrews said in an Aug. 17 conversation regarding the status of the deal.

He noted that the summer season – with people vacationing and such – has slowed that process.

Nevertheless, Andrews pointed out, “It is a very, very, very close.”

He said the MODG’s lawyers expect the purchase deal to be finalized by the end of August.

Andrews explained that the deal remaining incomplete as the reason why the REOI document specifies that the call relates “to land owned or to be owned” by the MODG.

In the REOI ad related to “onshore land acquisition and development rights” at Goldboro Industrial Park, MODG noted – in accordance with its governance procedures – it was requesting written responses from “interested parties” that want to enter into negotiations to “develop and acquire” and access rights.

Detailed REOI documents are available at https://modg.ca/residents/news/landacquisition.

Sealed proposals will be received at the MODG’s office on Pleasant St. until 2 p.m. on Sept. 28. Inquiries must be received no less than five calendar days prior to the REOI closing date to allow sufficient time to provide a response. Ones received later might not be answered prior to the closing date.

As the advertisement reads, “to ensure the integrity of the process,” interested parties are asked to deal directly with MODG’s contracted project manager Andrew Amos, of Catalyst Consulting Engineers Inc., at (902) 802-0306 or catalyst@eastlink.ca.

Inquiries must be submitted in writing by the prime contact of a proponent – another measure taken, as Andrews noted, to try to ensure submissions don’t come in from those who, once again, are “just kicking the tires.”

“It is about determining the best use [for that land],” he offered, as part of an effort to bring “more prosperity” to the MODG, which would include providing opportunities for people to “come home,” increased job opportunities and an expanded tax base.

More information is also available on the MODG website at modg.ca.