Point Edward officials pleased with sale of smelter land

Content of the article

The sale of the former Holmes Foundry site in Point Edward to a Hamilton-based developer with ties to the Sarnia area has village officials cheering.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

South Coast Developments Ltd. purchased the 6.5 hectares of land adjacent to Highway 402, approaching the Blue Water Bridge, from Point Edward Gateway Inc. for $5.75 million.

“We’re all doing the happy dance,” Point Edward Mayor Bev Hand said, “and we deserve it. It has been a long and frustrating journey. »

The sale of the former industrial site with its turbulent history followed a year of work by the stakeholders, including the municipality.

The old Chrysler Corporation closed the old foundry in the 1980s – and the property was sold – but has stood vacant ever since. A lengthy legal battle over ownership of the property was not settled until late 2017 and the land was put back on the market.

The smelter has also been linked to hundreds of cases of occupational disease – mostly lung cancer and other respiratory ailments – due to worker exposure to asbestos and silica in the mid-to-late 20th century. century. An environmental cleanup of the site after the smelter closed in 1988 cost Chrysler about $7 million.

The village said in a press release that an agreement with the buyer and seller provides for the completion of a phase two environmental assessment and site condition report, as well as remediation work. environment to allow for future development on the land.

Under the terms of the agreement, the vendor will pay for environmental work organized by the village, said Jim Burns, Point Edward’s lead administrator.

Recently, the village oversaw the demolition of the remaining derelict buildings on the site and removed trees and other vegetation.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

“The new buyer, they have a lot of great ideas,” Hand said. “They have high hopes for the property because it’s unique – the size and proximity to the river and highway.”

Tyler Pearson, president of South Coast Developments Ltd., grew up in St. Clair Township and began considering buying the former smelter site after walking past the property during a weekend visit from Easter in 2021.

“I immediately parked my car on the side of the road and just looked at it and said, ‘Somebody has to finally do something with this site because it’s crazy that 16 acres of land to develop have gone unused for so long,” Pearson said.

“We are very excited about the possibilities that obviously come with this site.”

Pearson said the company has conducted housing, seniors and hospitality studies in the field “and all of the results of these studies have been overwhelmingly favorable.”

The former Holmes Foundry lot off Highway 402 in Point Edward has been sold.

He said the company’s plans are still “in the early stages” but “certainly we see a significant residential element forming one of the many pieces of the puzzle” for the site.

“There is no doubt in our eyes that this is truly one of the best remaining large development sites, not just in Point Edward, but I would go so far as to say in southwestern Ontario” , Pearson said.

He added that the village leaders were “great to work with, from the start”.

The site is “steps away” from Lake Huron and the St. Clair River, and “just offers a tremendous opportunity,” he said.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

Pearson said the company is “extremely optimistic that all environmental issues can be resolved, and we will prepare the site for residential development.”

He said the impact of the pandemic may have “only helped the site” due to the recent trend of residents of larger centers moving to smaller communities.

“A lot of people started realizing the quality of life and affordability that a place like Point Edward and Sarnia-Lambton could offer.

Pearson said there “still remains a lot of work to do, but we remain incredibly optimistic and will continue to move forward.”

Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.