The City of Terrace has announced it intends to sell two sections of land at the Skeena Industrial Development Park for almost $12 million to Chinese industrial interests.
According to Terrace mayor Dave Pernarowski, negotiations are coming to a head with business officials from the economic zone called Qinhuangdao on the east coast of China.
The next few weeks could see the finalization of a deal through a Vancouver-based firm called Taisheng International Investment Services Inc. to purchase a total of 1,188 acres at the industrial park for $11,878,000.
The Skeena Industrial Development Park is located just south of the Northwest Regional Airport off Hwy 37 and accessed by a road called Industrial Way.
“We are letting people know there is interest in it right now,” said Pernarowski. “It’s getting close.”
The city has kept the details of the impending transcontinental deal secret during negotiations but should reveal specifics within the coming weeks, said the mayor, including exactly what industrial outfits are coming to town.
“We’ve got that narrowed down. We are definitely not selling land at the industrial park on speculation,” said Pernarowski. “We have to see a solid business plan included in the document. We are definitely looking at one or two possibilities and will be able to announce more on that in a week or two.”
Much will be resolved during a visit by a Chinese business delegation to Terrace.
“Details would be more clear once we signed off on the document. We are expecting to see a delegation coming in the next couple weeks,” said the mayor.
In terms of what the city would spend the $12 million windfall on, Pernarowski said the main focus will be expanding the infrastructure at the industrial park and for affordable housing projects. Only after those priorities are met would the city look at allocating money to such departments as leisure services.
“The idea with selling any city land isn’t to make a whole pile of money,” Pernarowski continued. “It’s about reinvesting those dollars back into infrastructure in our industrial park. Where we would benefit as a city from any type of deal that happens at the airport would be through taxation and job creation. The other thing council is determined to do with any excess dollars would be to reinvest into finding opportunities for affordable housing, to purchase more land for affordable housing projects or partner with someone to create that kind of opportunity.”
Pernarowski did caution that the proposed sale is not yet a certainty.