Can Abbotsford land Molson Brewery?

City trying to find suitable land as brewery seeks to relocate from Vancouver to 18.5 acre site elsewhere in Lower Mainland.

Molson has sold its Vancouver brewery and is looking at land around the Lower Mainland to build its new facility on.

Abbotsford staff are looking for a possible home for a new Molson brewery, while a Langley company has filed papers to build a 300,000 square foot plant that will employ 300 people once up and running, according to a report by the city’s economic development officials.

Molson recently sold the site of its high-profile Vancouver brewery, and is currently looking at sites around the Lower Mainland, according to company spokesperson Jennifer Kerr.

Kerr wouldn’t say more than that, but the most recent report to the city’s business innovation, growth and attraction committee says Abbotsford staff have been working with a real estate company and a local landowner to find a suitable location for the company. The company is seeking 18.5 acres of land for their brewery, which employs around 200 people.

The same report says that Mayne Coatings – a company that manufactures siding for homes – has filed a development application as part of plans to build a large new plant on Clearbrook Road.

Mayor Henry Braun said the city had seen a significant increase in business inquiries over the past year. And while Abbotsford has more industrial land than many Lower Mainland municipalities, Braun said those lands set aside more than 10 years ago in the City in the Country Plan are quickly disappearing.

“In another year, I think they will almost be built out.”

Braun said there are a few lots that might be suitable for a plant the size that Molson is seeking to build. However, access to rail may prove challenging.

City staff have fielded several other inquiries regarding a range of business proposals, including a high-tech incubator, a galvanizing plant, a bio-energy facility, and a education technology company looking for space.

Meanwhile, the report notes that the city saw a dramatic spike in the number of films being shot over 2015. More than 25 films were shot over a total of 105 days in 2015, according to the report. The number of movies filmed more than doubled, while the number of filming days rose by 98 per cent.