PICKERING -- The first phase of a business development in Pickering should be ready for occupancy by the end of the year.
Nivlog Investments Inc. is building approximately 16,500 square feet of space on Bayly Street, just west of Brock Road.
At a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, Nivlog president Stuart Golvin said, “Pickering is an inner GTA location and has grown steadily over time. We've enjoyed previous success in this part of Pickering. We felt it will accommodate a business seeking a more contemporary facility, a modern facility.”
The first phase includes one building of about 4,000 sq. ft. and the second of 12,500 sq. ft. The smaller building would be ideal for a single tenant, Mr. Golvin said, while the larger building would have multiple occupants.
Phase one should be finished by this Christmas, Mr. Golvin added.
Nivlog, based in Markham, has constructed two other buildings in Pickering, one at the northwest corner of Brock Road and Plummer Street and other at 850 Brock Rd., at Feldspar Court.
Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan said the project is a positive for the community because “it's more development in the city of Pickering.
“We've had our best year in new building permits for industrial and commercial projects since 2004,” Mayor Ryan added.
Keith Falconer, president of the Pickering East Shore Community Association, said, “It's a great enhancement for Bay Ridges. It's more commercial based. The land wasn't being used. It's great enhancement to the local area.”
The project will help attract other businesses to Pickering, Mr. Falconer added.
The site covers just under seven acres, Mr. Golvin said.
“We're proceeding with phase one, which is two buildings,” he said, adding the first phase cost is about $4 million.
When the second phase would start “hasn't been defined or determined in terms of scope. We'll see how phase one goes. It's demand driven,” he noted.
The whole project cost is between $50 million and $60 million, including buying the land, construction and “soft costs,” such as development charges and architectural fees, Mr. Golvin said.
“The economy is very challenging. This is a speculative project. We're proceeding with it based on our confidence in Pickering and the medium- and long-term confidence in the economy in the GTA,” he said.
This is the only new construction project Nivlog is currently working on, he said. Other projects include renovations and retrofit work.
AJAX -- The mayors of Pickering and Ajax were singing the same tune during separate addresses to the Ajax and Pickering Board of Trade, highlighting the need to attract and retain businesses.
Both mayors spoke to business leaders on Feb. 29 as part of the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade's Annual Mayors' Address.
Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan proved he was willing to go the distance to attract businesses to the area, announcing details of an upcoming trip to China to meet with government officials and business leaders there to discuss investment opportunities in Durham Region.
“My primary objective will be to drum up interest in local businesses as well as projects we have going on downtown,” he said of the two-week trip, which will take place over March break, March 8 to 23.
He also noted the importance of forging relationships, announcing that Siemens Canada would be building a new 190,000-square-foot facility in the city as the result of a relationship that began seven years ago.
“You have to nurture projects little by little,” he explained, noting the City took a similar tack with discussions for the Pickering pedestrian bridge, which is nearly complete.
“The when the opportunity presents itself you have to mobilize and strike fast. Sometimes you come away empty-handed, but that's the nature of the beast.”
Ajax Mayor Steve Parish had a similar approach to attracting business, noting that the Town has fought to keep its empty lands for employment in order to be ready when businesses want to relocate.
“We spent much of our time preserving the business lands we do have from applications to convert them to residential because we knew the day would come where businesses began looking to the east,” he said, noting those lands are now shovel-ready.
“It's essential when that day comes that we are ready for investment. That, I think, is going to, has been and is the secret to our success.”
Mayor Parish highlighted the fact that the town is the third fastest-growing in the GTA, and the fastest-growing in the region, as per Statistics Canada's latest census. He also touted the Town's Priority Path program, which helps businesses navigate municipal red tape.
An investment in Pickering that was seven years in the making was unveiled this week by Mayor Dave Ryan.
Trench Canada Instrument Transformers, a wholly-owned subsidiary of global corporation Siemens, will be moving into a new 19,000-square-foot facility, currently under construction on Clements Road. TCIF is a leading manufacturer of high-voltage products; Pickering's site will have a focus on applications for electrical transmission systems. As many as 350 skilled jobs will be created with this investment, with potential for more in future.
The decision to locate in Pickering underscores the efforts of City politicians and staff to lure industry and create jobs and wealth here at home, but also illustrates the relative strength of the resilience of Canada's economy in these difficult global times.
The move also gives weight to the City of Pickering as a preferred destination and recognition as an important hub for global and domestic corporations in the energy sector.
There's something to be said, too, for the professional, patient approach the City took to land TCIF as a new corporate citizen. A business presentation and reception hosted by Pickering in 2005 to introduce Siemens' then-CEO to local business leaders and to provide a sense of Pickering as community in which to live, work and play represented the beginning of a courtship that culminated in this week's announcement.
The TCIF facility -- built to new environmentally certified standards -- should set the stage for continued investment by corporations with interests in energy. Pickering must continue its work to identify and attract potential corporate citizens and replicate the success of bringing prestige, skilled jobs to the city.
Momentum can build with this piece of good economic news, and help Pickering expand its industrial tax base through ongoing efforts to develop and market the city as a vibrant, livable, business-friendly community.
More by tradition than design, Mayor Ryan brought the good news to residents and business leaders as the work day began, at a breakfast meeting of the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade. Here's hoping future high-tech investment in the City of Pickering rises with sun, bringing more and better jobs, an economic boost and long-term prosperity.
Pickering, ON, February 29, 2012 - Today, at his annual address to the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade, Mayor Dave Ryan announced that Siemens Canada will be establishing a 190,000 square foot facility in Pickering.
Mayor Ryan announced to 180 attendees that this facility will house high-tech manufacturing, research and development, and LEED-certified office space. Most importantly, it will bring 350 prestige jobs to Pickering with the potential for additional job growth down the road.
Celebrating its 100th year, Siemens Canada is part of the international conglomerate Siemens AG. With more than 360,000 employees across nearly 190 countries and reported 2011 global revenue of 71 billion Euros, it's one of the largest and most prestigious companies in the world.
Trench Canada Instrument Transformers, a division of Trench Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Siemens), will occupy the new building. Trench is a worldwide leading manufacturer of high voltage products with 12 plants in 8 countries and more than 3,000 employees worldwide. It too is celebrating a milestone anniversary - namely 50 years in Canada.
Seven years ago, the City of Pickering held a business presentation and reception to introduce Siemens Canada's then CEO to various Pickering and Durham Region business leaders. That pivotal event strengthened the relationship between Siemens Canada and Pickering, and ultimately set in motion today's announcement.
“We are particularly pleased that Siemens is showing their confidence in our employees and our business by investing in a new plant in Canada,” said Carl Lockhart, General Manager of TCI. “This new plant will offer a substantial increase in capacity compared to our current facility, and we are all looking forward to becoming a part of the Pickering community.”
“We started building this relationship with Siemens Canada seven years ago. While it took some time, I'm sure everyone agrees that these 350 prestige jobs are definitely worth the time, energy and effort,” said Mayor Dave Ryan. “Together, Siemens and Trench will solidify Pickering's burgeoning reputation as one of Ontario's preeminent energy hubs.”
“I was pleased to welcome the Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board to their new offices in Pickering and attend the official opening.” -- Councillor Pickles
PICKERING -- After plans to build a new headquarters in Ajax fell through, employees at the Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board celebrated the opening of their new offices in Pickering on Dec. 13.
PAAB is a non-profit organization endorsed by the government. On a voluntary basis, pharmaceutical companies work with PAAB to ensure their advertising directed at physicians complies with government rules and regulations, explained PAAB commissioner Ray Chepesiuk.
The organization is a way for the industry to self-regulate as opposed to working with Health Canada directly.
On Dec. 13, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new PAAB offices, located at the corner of Pickering Parkway and Liverpool Road in the building formerly occupied by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.
The third floor of the building has been upgraded to suit PAAB's needs.
“Now we're in the heart of Pickering. I think we're in a very good spot,” said Mr. Chepesiuk.
The organization's head offices have been in Pickering since 1977 and three years ago staff began searching for a new home that would accommodate growth.
In 2009, the organization purchased a 0.46 acre piece of Ajax land at the corner of Elizabeth Street and Kingston Road for $500,000 from the Town of Ajax. The plan was to build a new headquarters at the site and the building was to include rented-out retail space in the bottom floor and a public square.
However, that project was cancelled because of the poor soil conditions at the site. To make up for the poor soil condition, the building would have needed a reinforced foundation, perhaps something like piers, said Ajax officials. The project was cost prohibitive.
Instead, PAAB re-sodded and restored the site and the land is currently up for sale.
Meanwhile, Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan and councillors said they were happy the organization remained in Pickering.
“This is class A office space and you are part of building the next step in our future,” said the mayor.
The area of Pickering includes a new office building for the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, and a pedestrian bridge over Hwy. 401 connecting to the GO station, giving the site a public transportation link to Toronto.
“We deal with advertising agencies that are in downtown Toronto and it allows them another means to visit us,” said Mr. Chepesiuk.
Most of the offices have large windows with lots of natural light and the walls are hung with artwork purchased from local artists through the Cultural Expressions gallery in Pickering Village.
“We local source as much as possible, we've always done that,” said Mr. Chepesiuk. “I've known Esther (Forde) from Cultural Expressions for a few years and we needed to decorate the place and I thought it would be great to use real works of art.”
He also added he appreciated the fact that the mayor and councillors attended the ribbon cutting.
“We feel welcome and we look to a prosperous future in Pickering.”
PICKERING -- City staff said thank you to several area businesses that have stepped up for pets with its Pawsitive Partners Awards.
During a council meeting on Dec. 12, Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan presented awards to Invisible Fence of Durham Region, the Dog Pad, PJ's Pets and Pet Valu's Karen Sloan.
“We know it's not every day that these organizations are recognized for their hard work and dedication,” said Lindsey Narraway, supervisor, Animal Services for the City of Pickering. “We wanted to share our appreciation with the rest of our community.”
Invisible Fence was recognized for its contribution of pet oxygen masks for Pickering's fire trucks. Each kit contains reusable masks sized for animals, since animals are also susceptible to health risks posed by a fire.
Ms. Sloan and Pet Valu were recognized for their ongoing support of Pickering's animal shelter. In addition to acting as a satellite facility for cat adoptions for the city, Pet Valu has collected thousands of dollars worth of food and merchandise for City animal shelters through donation bins and was the first store to sell animal licences.
Since 2009 the City has run its animal shelter at the Dog Pad facility. It will be opening a new City-owned animal shelter in 2012, and awarded a Pawsitive Partners award to the Dog Pad in recognition of the facility's support and generosity in housing the animal shelter for the past few years.
The City's newest community partner, PJ's Pets, was recognized for promoting Pickering's Animal Services programs through its store and social media. It also acts as a satellite adoption facility for cats.
For more information on Pickering's Animal Services or Pawsitive Partners awards program visit www.cityofpickering.com/animals.
Pickering, ON, December 14, 2011 - At Monday's City Council meeting, the City of Pickering recognized four animal related businesses in its Pawsitive Partners Awards program. Below is information on each award winner.
Earlier this year, Invisible Fence of Durham Region supplied pet oxygen masks for the City's fire trucks. Each kit contains reusable masks appropriately sized for animals. Pets are not immune to emergency situations and like humans are susceptible to health risks associated with a fire. The supplied kits are vital instruments that will help save a pet's life.
Karen Sloan opened her Pet Valu at 705 Kingston Road just over a year ago, and has been a strong supporter of Animal Services ever since. Through its donation bins, Pet Valu has collected thousands of dollars worth of food and merchandise for the animal shelter. Further, Pet Valu was the Dog Sponsor of the 2011 Petapolooza event, and was also the first store to start selling animal licences. Additionally, Pet Valu is one of the City's satellite facilities for cat adoptions. Ms. Sloan adopted one of the cats which became her store's resident mascot.
Since October 2009, the City has utilized the facility and services of the Dog Pad as its animal shelter. As the City will be opening its own animal shelter in 2012, it has awarded a Pawsitive Partner Award to the Dog Pad in recognition of its generosity and support over the past couple of years.
The City's newest community partner is PJ's Pets which has been promoting Pickering Animal Services programs and services through its store as well as social media since July. PJ's Pets is also a satellite adoption facility for cats, and is where City Councillor David Pickles adopted his family's newest pet.
The Pawsitive Partner Awards program was created to recognize individuals, groups or businesses that have made a significant contribution to the City's Animal Services division. “We know that it's not everyday that these organizations are recognized for their hard work and dedication, and we wanted to share our appreciation with the rest of our community,” said Lindsey Narraway, Supervisor, Animal Services. For more information on Animal Services or the awards program, please visit cityofpickering.com/animals. Pictures of the awards recipients may also be requested by calling 905.683.7575.
As the gateway city to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet. Pickering is an affluent community that boasts 200 years of history, along with unrivalled natural beauty, and small town charm with all the amenities and services that a big city has to offer. The City of Pickering is a municipal leader in fiscal management, service delivery, sustainability and the environment; and offers a wealth of cultural, sports, leisure and recreation opportunities to its residents. Pickering's $23-million pedestrian bridge connects directly to the GO train station and serves as an icon of infrastructure, sustainability and downtown revitalization.
PICKERING -- Motorsports Pickering will be getting a new home after councillors agreed to remove a land conveyance stipulation from a bylaw amendment that will grant the company occupancy at the site of Kahn Auctions,
On Monday, July 11 council voted to approve a temporary bylaw amendment allowing Motorsports to operate a recreational vehicle sales and service establishment out of an existing building on the property at 2695-2699 Brock Rd. However, councillors voted to remove a condition requiring the owner, Henry Kahn, to convey a portion of lands to the City for future road development and shortened the term from three to two years.
“First of all, we weren't made aware of this condition that we had to convey land when we made the application in February, and secondly all we're asking for is the usage of an existing building,” Mr. Kahn said.
“We're not putting up office towers, we're just going to utilize an existing building. I don't think that necessitates a conveyance of land at this time, that's purely asinine in my opinion. From me you're not going to get any conveyance of land at any time, so it's up to you if you turn these people down. You're not going to get a conveyance from me if it's five years down the road or 10 years down the road. As long as I'm here, it's not going to happen.”
Mr. Kahn's refusal to convey lands put Motorsports owners Rick Hunter and Dave Osborn on the verge of losing their business.
“The human side of this is basically we had to let our landlord know whether we were moving or not and at that point things looked pretty good so we told our landlord we would not be resigning,” Mr. Hunter said during a delegation to council, noting he had to inform his landlord by June 1, while the Kahns were not notified of the conveyance condition until June 9.
“There was no opportunity to turn around and go backwards when all of this came about. If this gets turned down, tomorrow six people are out of work and essentially everything my wife and I have done is all on the line starting tomorrow morning. I really plead with councillors to please put temporary zoning on this and carry it through.”
The road conveyance was being requested to protect lands for possible future road expansion to accommodate the development of Duffin Heights. The planned connector road would link William Jackson Drive with Brock Road and then connect with Tillings Road.
“Right now staff feel this road is not needed as we stand today, but we don't know the timing of how that development will proceed,” said Neil Carroll, director of planning, noting that by shortening the time period councillors could increase the chance of another development agreement coming forward.
“We would be more likely to get a redevelopment application sooner because this shortens the commitment on that land. Once another application comes forward we can put a condition on that for conveyance of lands.”
Councillors voted to approve the amended motion, but Mayor Dave Ryan made it clear that he voted reluctantly.
“I would personally have preferred a one-year term, which would match other properties on Brock Road that have a one-year renewal for the very same reason,” Mayor Ryan said, referring to the planned development of Duffin Heights.
“I am going to support this but with a very clear message to everyone, please do not come back and ask us to make this a permanent zoning because with this group of people it's not going to happen, because it's not the best thing for this city.”
Councillor Pickles, along with Mayor Ryan and Councillor Johnson and Dickerson were please to help cut the ribbon and have atour of the The Wolf Den Fitness & Wellness facility at Dellbrook Drive and Brock Road as they hosted their grand opening on Saturday afternoon, October 16, 2010.
“I am always pleased to see and support new businesses coming to Pickering and existing business re-investing in our community.” - Councillor Pickles
PICKERING -- Another business has announced it will move into the $30-million office tower that's quickly rising from the ground near Hwy. 401 and Liverpool Road.
Ontario Power Generation will move about 170 of its employees from various locations into the new spot, taking up two floors and 35,000 square feet of the new building, said Wayne Robbins, OPG chief nuclear officer Thursday.
“OPG values its leadership role in the community and we're pleased to continue contributing as a positive economic driver and as a proud community partner,” he said.
The building will be a Class 'A', LEED-Silver office tower and is currently being constructed on Pickering Parkway, in the southwest corner of the Pickering Town Centre's parking lot, and is acting as a catalyst for the development of Pickering's downtown core.
“The building you see behind us is a symbol of a vision of what Pickering can and will be,” said George Buckles, of 20 Vic Management Inc., the building's developer and owner of the Pickering Town Centre.
Office tower plans were announced in 2009, and has attracted a number of investments in Pickering's downtown core. The tower is part of a $50-million commercial and infrastructure project, which will include a 700-vehicle GO Transit and office parking deck.
The development has also secured the long-anticipated, fully enclosed $10-million pedestrian bridge that will span Hwy. 401 and provide a direct connection from the Pickering GO station to Pickering Parkway, the Pickering Town Centre, the office tower and a future transportation hub.
“The bridge will span the 401 by March 31,” Mayor Dave Ryan said.
The mayor sparked negotiations for the office tower in 2006 when he learned the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation had outgrown its current space on Pickering Parkway and would be forced to seek office space elsewhere. The mayor contacted 20 Vic Management and said he had an ideal tenant in mind if the company wished to build a new tower.
MPAC was the first company to confirm tenancy, and more than a year later, the building is almost full.
“We're now 90 per cent full,” Mayor Ryan said. “We expect to make the final announcement in the very near future.”
OPG announced in February that operations at Pickering B station will come to a halt in a decade, but representatives said at the time the company wouldn't abandon Pickering altogether.
“There are many years we'll need staff here in Pickering,” Mr. Robbins said.
Staff will be needed for a number of support purposes for the Darlington station, which is scheduled to open in 2016, as well as continuing to run, and eventually shut down, Pickering B, for example. The office will also house a centre of excellence for the decommissioning of nuclear plants.
“It's the access that's really key to us,” Mr. Robbins said, noting the nearby GO station, the future transit hub and Hwy. 401 will make OPG's new Pickering home very accessible for all OPG employees
PICKERING -- Thanks to a financial break from the City, and the relocation of a longtime tenant who before April refused to budge, San Francisco by the Bay will soon get off the ground.
The mixed-use development at Liverpool Road and Bayly Street, made up of storefronts, townhomes and condominium apartments, has caused an uproar in the community, but the City approved the plans in 2007.
The Millennium City Veterinary Hospital, which was delaying development as the last remaining business in the old Bay Ridges Plaza, moved out and relocated in April.
The townhouses have already been constructed, and SR and R Bay Ridges Ltd. wants to get its apartment towers off the ground. It has asked to delay its development charges payment of $1,069,000 for that tower until after the foundation has been constructed, or when above-grade work begins. That's just the City's share; SR and R will have to pay $3,108,975 to the City, the Region of Durham and the school boards combined.
Pickering's executive committee granted SR and R's wish Monday.
The staff report noted building a condo involves huge up-front costs and deferring the matter will get the work started, and demonstrate the City's commitment to residential intensification.
Ward 3 City Councillor David Pickles said deferral plans allow the City to provide some relief to the developer without it costing the City.
“What we lose in time, we'll get back in interest,” he said.
Ward 3 Regional Councillor Rick Johnson agreed.
“Even if we had development funds coming in right now, they would not be spent until two, three years down the road,” he said, adding he encourages intensification development in the downtown core.
According to the staff report, SR and R has told the City that construction should begin within 30 days of council's approval, and that its former beef with parkland dedication payments, which it thought was too high, is no longer an issue.
Although this is a one-time case, staff is currently creating a development incentive program after Coun. Pickles requested them to do so earlier this year.
The committee also approved a staff report to decrease DCs by 2.4 per cent as of July 1 due to a nationwide decrease in construction prices.
“I imagine that the decrease would help increase the people coming here,” said City treasurer Gil Paterson, adding it will apply to housing and commercial industries.
Coun. Johnson noted new Pickering applications and building permits have increased greatly in the past year. For example, the construction value for new applications was only $47 million a year ago, compared to $110 million already this year.
“I think this is the step in the right direction,” he said.
Ward 2 Regional Councillor Bill McLean asked Mr. Paterson if SR and R could benefit from the DC decrease, and the treasurer agreed it is possible. The report noted SR and R could end up paying $26,000 less, depending on when the permit is issued. Coun. McLean also raised concerns that taxpayers will end up paying for the decreased development charges.
Both matters will come to council for a final decision June 21.
The City of Pickering has been recognized as one of Canada's best cities for growth companies in the June 2006 issue of Profit magazine. Pickering is ranked eight best in Canada, just behind Waterloo and ahead of Mississauga and Oakville respectively.
The magazine cites several factors that make a city good for business: close proximity to major transportation hubs and post-secondary institutions; a large and thriving population of young, motivated knowledge workers; and easy access to big investors. The magazine made special mention that Pickering is expected to lead the country in population growth over the next 10-to-15 years.
- From the June 14, 2006 edition of Novae Res Urbis.
Our Corporate Promotions program involves activities and events directed at maintaining and enhancing the City of Pickering's image, and marketing the City as an excellent place to live, work, and invest.
Redevelopment of the Metro East Trade Centre is complete on Brock Road, which saw many new businesses open their doors including Sam's Club and Sobeys. The Pickering Markets opened their new location (at the southwest corner of Bayly Street and Squires Beach Road). New office space is growing with Ontario Power Generation moving many of its head office nuclear support staff to our community and to a new six storey 174,000 square foot facility at Brock and Clements Roads.
Many small businesses are also locating and growing in Pickering. Such as The Water Drop, a new water purification and products business that recently opened at the plaza located at 1900 Dixie Road (and Finch Avenue).
Contact The Water Drop at 905-837-0793 or visit www.thewaterdrop.com
This is just some of the development news in our community. For more business information, please contact our Corporate Promotions & Economic Development staff at 905-420-4625 or visit our web site www.cityofpickering.com for more information.
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