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Innisfail launches plan to market and sell industrial lands

Town of Innisfail will start its big push to sell new industrial land with an introductory price of $160,000 per acre
MVT Innisfail industrial land sale
Innisfail town council has approved a plan to put 46 acres of new industrial land south of 37th Street out to market, with an introductory price tag of $160,000 per acre. Photo courtesy of Elevate UAV

INNISFAIL – Continuing its unprecedented aggressive push for major industrial development, the Town of Innisfail has set the price for parcels of land at the new provincially approved southwest industrial land site.

 The town will also begin widespread marketing of the lands.

The move on May 9 follows council’s approval on April 25 to direct administration to tender the development of the southwest industrial park at a budgeted amount of $5.5 million, monies that will largely come through the town’s new Borrowing Bylaw.

The town is hoping it will recover a good portion of the $5.5 million expenditure by selling off more than 46 acres of new saleable industrial land, located south of 37th Street.

At its regular meeting on May 9, town council was presented with an administration plan that would set a $160,000 price per acre for potential purchasers. That price on the market would remain in place until July 29.

Council was told the $160,000 price is an introductory rate that would be increased later in the year, with servicing of the lands taking place in the fall of 2022 and purchasers taking possession in the spring of 2023.

Administration said in its report to council that the price point for the lots also reflects the projected cost of servicing the property, which include water, wastewater, storm, FortisAlberta electricity, ATCO gas, paved roads, applicable offsite levies ($9,711/acre) and remediation costs.

Council approved a motion to move ahead with the plan, along with a second motion for administration to submit a subdivision application for the creation of industrial parcels.

“I am expecting interest,” said mayor Jean Barclay. “I think it’s priced very well, comparable to other land in the Central Alberta region, and we also have very competitive non-residential tax rates in Innisfail. I am looking forward to seeing what comes from this.

“We haven’t had this type of development available for quite a long time,” added Barclay, noting it has been at least the 1990s since the town experienced any type of serious industrial development progress.

However, Barclay still had questions about administration’s plan to put the new industrial land out to market.

The mayor wanted to know if July 29th was long enough, noting discussions can be lengthy with potential land purchasers.

“It is a large investment,” said Barclay. “If it’s not $160,000 then what is it? Are we committed to sticking to July 29? If we don’t and we say we’re extending it that gives a little bit of an indication that maybe things are not going as well as we hoped potentially, so I worry about that.”

Barclay also wanted to know that if a contract is secured with a purchaser before the subdivision application is approved would the town able to accept deposits on purchase agreements. As well, do the deposits go into a lawyer’s trust account?

Jenkins said trying to push the sales in the summer will create more “certainty” as the work at the industrial lands site moves into the installation of services stage this fall, “knowing that we have half a dozen lots that are already sold.”

She said deposits will be held in trust with the town lawyer until possession in the spring of 2023.

In the meantime, administration will be making a submission to the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) for the creation of industrial parcels in the southwest industrial area that now consists of two titled parcels totalling 123.28 acres (49.9 hectares).

Council was told the proposed subdivision of the lands will result in 46.1 acres of saleable industrial land, with the remaining lands created for public utility lots, the town yard and snow storage, a municipal/environmental reserve and almost six acres for roads.

Jenkins said the subdivision process takes about 60 days, with referrals sent out to adjacent property owners, as well as other stakeholders such as FortisAlberta, Telus and Alberta Transportation.

It would then go to MPC for approval, which is typically conditional as there would be conditions that have to be met prior to registering the subdivision at land titles.