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Development of Niverville Business Park Underway

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Nearly 15 years since its inception, the Niverville Business Park is seeing some significant development. On July 13, Niverville’s council, representatives of Edie Construction Ltd. (ECL), and invited guests met at the entrance to the new business park on Sixth Avenue North for the official ground-breaking ceremony.

The business park has undergone many changes over the years. It began as Hanville Business Park, a collaboration between Niverville and Hanover on land that, at the time, belonged to Hanover. Eight lots were developed and quickly sold. Recognizing the need for more space, Niverville’s council began negotiations with Hanover to annex two larger parcels of land. The annexation was approved and paperwork completed on January 1, 2017. The name was officially changed to the Niverville Business Park and council began work on development planning.

Questions began to arise among council about the feasibility of the potential $800,000 in infrastructure costs needed to develop the land. The decicion was made to send out a request for proposal (RFP), actively seeking a developer interested in partnering with the town.

By June of this year, negotiations began with ECL, a firm based out of Dugald, Manitoba—the same firm that assisted Niverville with the construction of a dike in 1997. ECL has a solid reputation as the developer of numerous residential, commercial, and cottage developments throughout Manitoba and western Canada. 

“What this project does is check another box in the Town of Niverville’s council mandate to improve and enhance business development in Niverville,” said Mayor Myron Dyck at the ground-breaking ceremony.

According to Dyck, a strategic plan for business development began in 2012. At that time, 87 percent of Niverville’s properties were residential with only 13 percent business. 

“In speaking with other reeves and mayors, in order to be a financially sustainable community, that ratio needed to be closer to 60 percent and 40 percent respectively,” adds Dyck. “Today, with 21 new business lots of varying sizes coming onstream, this provides the opportunity for new businesses to set up in Niverville and for existing business to expand.”

Increasing tax revenues to help offset residential taxes and creating jobs close to home were cited as two of the primary reasons for council’s interest in the business park expansion. 

The partnership with ECL is viewed as a win-win for both parties. While full ownership and title of the land remains with the Niverville Community Development Corporation (NCDC, a branch of the Town of Niverville), development costs will fall fully on ECL. As the lots sell, the town will compensate ECL with 72 percent of the sale price and retain 28 percent. 

This kind of partnership means that the town will bear less risk if sites go unsold, and no capital dollars will be tied up in infrastructure development. ECL will benefit by finishing the project in a timely manner in order to quickly recoup their investment. 

“We have the ability to gain expertise in the development business, which ECL brings to the table,” says Eric King, Finance Administration Manager for the Town of Niverville. “We also gain ECL’s network of contacts in assisting in the sale of lots, and finally we have no risk on cost overruns. ECL has the potential to make more money under this process if the sale of lots goes well and ECL correctly estimated their construction costs of developing to the construction standards of the town.”

King will assume the role of sales and marketing manager for the project and admits that he already has a list of potential buyers he has been meeting with since the park’s grand opening. He says they are opening up opportunities to existing Niverville businesses first before they consider marketing to outside buyers. Once an offer to purchase has been signed by a buyer, the agreement must be authorized by a representative of both the town and ECL.

The first phase of the project will include 21 lots. This is the only phase for which the partnership between the Town and ECL has been formally negotiated. Upon the completion of the sale of these lots, ECL will have the first right of refusal for the development of the next phase. 

King says that NCDC is already taking steps to subdivide the section that will become phase two in order to prevent delays should phase one sell out quickly. 

The first two access roads in phase one have been named to commemorate people from Niverville’s historic past: Kuzenko Road for Niverville’s first mayor and Schultz Road for the town’s first postmaster.

The lots in phase one will start at $31,000 and are expected to be completed and ready for possession as early as September and October of this year.

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