Keith Ave. undergoing a boom

Southwest side of Terrace is seeing a rise in industrial activity

United Rentals staff at work in Terrace

United Rentals staff at work in Terrace

ONE OF the busiest business corridors in Terrace these days is the section of Keith Ave. leading west of its intersection with Kenney St. on the southside.

The arrival of a new industrial equipment rental business, the start of construction for two businesses, the pending start of a building for another business, the sale of three acreages and the leasing of a log yard owned by the City of Terrace to the YaoRun log export company has picked up activity in that area.

“There’s been a real strong interest in light industrial property,” notes Remax of Terrace principle John Evans of the general upswing.

Just last month three light industrial properties listed by Remax sold along the corridor.

Two were once part of the Skeena Cellulose log yard and are divided by a rail spur connecting to CN’s main line.

The 2.78 acres west of the spur to Blakeburn sold for  $358,000 and the 4.5 acres east of the spur to the log yard leased by the city went for $500,000, said Evans.

The two parcels had been owned by the same company which owns the large industry property east of Kenney toward the overpass which was once the location the now-dismantled Skeena Cellulose/Terrace Lumber Company sawmill.

Almost immediately across the road from the two above-mentioned parcels, on the southside of Keith, 1.1 acres sold for $199,000, Evans added.

No immediate development plans have been announced for the properties.

Progressive Ventures, the purchaser of the 4.54 acre parcel, has added it to its property list in anticipation of a future development, says company marketing director Hatha Callis.

Progressive Ventures does, however, have one construction project underway and is readying another one for a start soon along Keith.

The first is a two-bay commercial truck wash that’s 7,000 square feet in size belonging to the same company owning Shiny Hansen’s detailing business right next door.

“It’s a design-build on our part right from conceptual drawings and engineering,” said Callis.

It’s scheduled to be completed in September.

Right next to this development and not yet under construction is the location of an oil change and vehicle wash business owned by Lindsay Enterprises.

“It’s going to be something new for Terrace,” said Callis of the enterprise.

The two developments will be finished so that they act as one, functioning as a vehicle service centre, said Callis.

Rounding out current construction on Keith is a 4,000 square foot new home for Rudon Hydraulics that’s being built by Genuine Contracting.

The company is now in a rented location but has outgrown the premises, says Dan Lindstrom, one of two partners.

“Figuratively and literally we’re piled right up to the rafters and we want to expand our industrial supplies in response to our customers,” he said.

“Hydraulics is our bread and butter but we do wish to keep growing.”

Lindstrom said business began to grow starting three years ago and Rudon now has distributorships in Prince Rupert, Smithers, Kitimat and in Stewart.

The business was started 18 years ago and Lindstrom and his business partner represent a second generation of family ownership.

Boom lifts extending skyward signal a new business on Keith, United Rentals, which bills itself as the largest industrial equipment rental business in the world.

The Terrace location is the company’s 16th in B.C. and the only one west of Prince George, explains district manager Robert St. Jacques.

“We’re here definitely because of what’s going in the marketplace,” he said of the decision to locate here.

“We’re here very much to support our customers in Western Canada who are now here or are planning to be here.”

The key to United Rentals is to have an operation here that’s ready to respond to customer demand as activity grows, he said.

“We want to be ahead of the curve,” St. Jacques added.

One of United’s customers that drew it to the northwest is Scott Steel, a company involved in the construction of the Red Chris copper and gold mine that’s due to open the spring of 2014.