By Paul Morden, from www.theobserver.ca The Observer
A Montreal-based company’s plan to build a solar panel-topped industrial building in the industrial park on Polymore Drive near Corunna took a step forward this week.
A site plan for Real-Flex Business Park’s $1.8-million project received approval in principle from St. Clair Township council. Real-Flex president Sean Neely said the company is working to break ground on the project within the next 30 to 45 days. “Our intent is to try and have the building closed in and completed before the New Year,” he said. “It is an aggressive and tight time frame, but we’re hopeful we can make that.”
The building will have 13 bays and 20,200 square feet of light industrial space available to be leased by a single tenant, or divided between several.
Neely said Real-Flex hasn’t been actively marketing the project yet. “We wanted to make sure we got the site plan agreement first, and that we were able to go forward,” he said. “Now that we’re days way from acquiring the land, we’re going to be actively marketing the project.”
A Real-Flex proposal to build a 22,300-square-foot building in Watford is at a similar stage, and has the same timeline, he said.
Both will have 250 kw solar panel systems on their roofs creating electricity that will be sold into the provincial grid under 20-year contracts with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA.)
“One of our goals is to try and create sustainable real estate,” Neely said. “Combining renewable energy with the flex-base real estate is, I think, an interesting proposition.”
The Corunna and Watford projects have been on the drawing board for a few years. “Getting the OPA contract certainly took us a lot longer than we thought it might,” Neely said. “We wanted to make sure we had all of those contracts in place and ready to go before we proceeded.”
Real-Flex is planning a similar project in the Kingston area.