August 7, 2019 7:55 pm

Lethbridge industrial real estate market remains steady as construction continues in Sherring

WATCH ABOVE: Lethbridge's industrial real estate market remains steady with servicing of the Sherring Industrial Park land set to be completed in the fall. Jasmine Bala has more.

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Lethbridge’s industrial real estate market has remained stable since construction began at the Cavendish potato processing plant in the Sherring Business and Industrial Park just a little more than a year ago.

“It’s really predictable, lots of things are really similar kind of year over year,” said Vinko Smiljanec, an associate at Avison Young Lethbridge.

This past year, the city sold five acres of land in Sherring, significantly less than the 305 acres sold in 2017, 287 of which were part of the Cavendish sale.

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However, when comparing that number to other years, it remains consistent with normal trends, as the city sells an average of about eight acres per year.

“What we don’t know is when the next fish comes in — the big fish — like the Cavendish or even Triple M [Housing] that came in 2007,” said Michael Kelly, the city’s real estate and land development manager.

“These people come and go.”

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While the city initially anticipated sales interest in Sherring to increase with the servicing of the land and the Cavendish plant, this is no longer the case.

“We had a lot of interest up until about a year and a half ago,” Kelly said.

“What the big change was then was the NAFTA talks. So when all that bubbled up, we saw a lot of uncertainty with investors in the market, and the phone calls stopped coming, the inquiries stopped coming.”

Land prices, however, are still expected to increase when the serviced land in Sherring becomes available.

“Right now, they’re priced at about $230,000 an acre and they’re… most definitely going to be going up, I would guesstimate somewhere in the high $200,000s or closer to $300,000 an acre,” Smiljanec said.

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The city has completed 90 per cent of the underground servicing in Sherring Park and close to 60 per cent of surface work.

About 400 acres of land will become available for sale by the end of October, when construction is expected to be complete.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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