There’s a lot of curiosity swirling around who may buy a large plot of land in Eastern Passage, N.S., and what may be developed on it.
Across the street from the site of a former refinery at 1350 Main Road, people have their own views and vision for its future.
“I think the best thing to go there is a development agreement to put apartments, condos, malls,” said Rick Osborne, noting the Halifax Regional Municipality needs more housing.
Valero Energy’s 475-acre site — which includes a wharf, large industrial plots and wetlands — is for sale. It’s unclear who may buy it or what may developed on the land, but what is clear is the land is significant.
“It’s on the water, it’s in the water, it’s in a natural harbour that’s accessible year-round,” said Tom Carpenter, a commercial real estate broker with Royal LePage Atlantic who is not associated with the sale.
It also sits along a major road, near an existing CN rail line and the Royal Canadian Air Force air strip.
“And it’s privately owned,” Carpenter said, who notes the availability of industrial land in Halifax is limited and, for the most part, controlled by government.
He points out how Burnside Industrial Park and Aerotech Business Park are being expanded, but the process takes time — about one to two years.
Carpenter expects interested groups will need a lot of resources to not only purchase the plot, but also develop it. Carpenter believes the government could be eyeing it, but with waterfront access, so could many other groups.
“That would be attractive to many industries. Anything from fishing to industrial to energy to shipping, logistics,” Carpenter said.
Crews have been cleaning the land up ever since the province authorized reclamation work last year so environmental remediation can begin.
A brochure for potential buyers notes significant work has already been done, including removing storage tanks.
“I think it’s a little bigger project than perhaps they thought because I anticipated they might be finished by now, but who knows,” said HRM-area councillor Becky Kent.
Kent believes the greater public would like to see community space, which would require rezoning the industrial land and community engagement. For now, people are left with their own questions and curiosity.
“There’s land on the harbour, there’s rail, it’s near the air strip and it’s a great location for potentially some industrial, commercial and who knows what else,” Kent said.
CTV News reached out to the land owner Valero Energy whose spokesperson said the company will not be commenting at this time.