Gloucester development regaining ‘lost ground’ since 2008 recession

700-acre planned industrial community has recovered most of the tenancies that were lost and is starting to show signs of new interest

New development at Gloucester Industrial Estates has been slow since the global economic meltdown of 2008 but the 700-acre planned industrial community has recovered most of the tenancies that were lost and is starting to show signs of new development interest.

“In the last three or four months there has been a clear pick-up of interest in new lots,” said spokesman Dave Gormley, the Vice President of Land Development at Beedie Development Group.

“There were a lot of vacant spaces since 2008 but these have filled back in as a number of companies changed, and now there is more interest in the available lots.”

Gloucester’s development is currently standing about 80 per cent, with about 75 to 80 acres remaining for new development. Prices range from about $700,000 to $800,000 per acre for a fully serviced lot.

There are also 10 to 15 acres inside the Gloucester official community plan area that are owned by other parties. Gormley noted that Beedie is not involved in an application by another group which is seeking to expand industrial development on adjacent properties on the Abbotsford side of the municipal boundaries.

Beedie has opened up new lands alongside 272 Street, north to 60 Avenue, and there are six new lots currently available there on a cul-de-sac.

Benjamin Moore Paint became the first occupant of a building in Gloucester in 1991 and the most recent new facility is the Mazda Canada Parts and Distribution Centre that opened in January 2012. The biggest company there is the EV Logistics distribution centre, which employs close to 700 workers at two major buildings.

Gormley said Gloucester’s current employment figures are not known but there were about 3,000 jobs in an estimate several years ago. Projected employment at build-out is estimated at about 6,000.

According to the Langley Township Economic Development department, Gloucester’s total building inventory is 6.6 million square feet, which is comparable to the Northwest Langley industrial park. Since the latter is fully developed, Gloucester will surpass it in size when Gloucester is fully developed. The Aldergrove, Carvolth, Willowbrook and other industrial areas in the Township are under 1 million square feet, each.

Gloucester is a significant contributor to municipal taxes too. Township financial officer Hilary Tasaki says Gloucester contributes about $7 million in taxes annually to the Township, which is about eight per cent of the Township’s annual $91.7 million in tax revenues.

“Gloucester and Campbell Heights are competing with each other right now, and it has been slower here than in Burnaby and New Westminster, but we hope to see one or two new starts at Gloucester this year,” said Gormley.