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New Fergus business park seeing mostly local interest

The township's economic development manager said at a ground breaking ceremony businesses want space to grow while staying local
From Left: economic development committee chair Don Vallery, Mayor Kelly Linton and retired CAO Andy Goldie at the ground breaking ceremony for the North Fergus Business Park.

FERGUS – With the amount of local interest in the new business park, it’s clear to the township’s economic development manager that businesses want to grow and stay local. 

Years in the making, the Township of Centre Wellington broke ground on the North Fergus Business Park Thursday, which has 40 acres of servicable land for business. 

What’s now a field between an existing industrial area and First Line likely won’t see buildings going in until Summer 2023, said economic development manager George Borovilos, but that hasn’t put a hamper on the amount of inquiries. 

Nothing has been pre-sold, but so far Borovilos said there’s 38 active prospects for the business park, mostly from within the township, some from Wellington County and a small amount of interest from GTA-based businesses. 

“Our local smaller companies need to scale up and grow,” Borovilos said of what the demand locally means. “Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, they’ve almost exhausted their supply (of land), therefore what’s the alternative? You look at Woodstock, Tillsonburg, Ingersoll and you’re getting pretty far away.” 

The total number of business in the park is still being determined. Borovilos said 23 is the “perfect formula lot by lot” but they are customizable. For example, there’s potential to merge multiple lots together for a significant investment. 

This will all be part of the sales portion and the economic development team’s neutral evaluation which the manager said will be scored on criteria such as jobs, jobs per acre, the size of the capital investment, future potential and how it fits into criteria laid out in the business park strategy. 

“If someone wants to put a 100,000 square foot warehouse, that’s not a checkbox as an example,” Borovilos said, adding the township will need to balance start-ups, established businesses looking to scale up and the big players.

During the ground breaking ceremony, economic development committee chair Don Vallery said including “North Fergus” in the name was on purpose as in his view the next council should be setting its sights on creating business parks in south Fergus, and north and south Elora. 

“I think we’re going to sell out really quick and it’s going to be a great revenue generator for the town,” said Mayor Kelly Linton in an interview.

Linton, who is not running for re-election, said the next mayor and council should continue to prioritize bringing in jobs and investment to the township, including considering future business parks.

“There is potential within our whole secondary plan and official plan within the township areas in south Fergus that could be potentially employment lands,” Borovilos said. 

“We have to look at the future, plant the seeds.”

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Keegan Kozolanka

About the Author: Keegan Kozolanka

Keegan Kozolanka is a general assignment reporter for EloraFergusToday, covering Wellington County. Keegan has been working with Village Media for more than two years and helped launch EloraFergusToday in 2021.
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