It appears the Global Transportation Hub (GTH) has competition.
It could come in the form of a newly approved concept plan that would see development on a 152-hectare, or 375-acre, chunk of land after city council signed off on it earlier in the week.
It’s called the Chuka Creek Business Park, found within the larger Southeast Regina Neighbourhood Plan. The business park stretches along the Regina Bypass in the city’s southeast between Victoria Avenue and Arcola Avenue and will be used primarily for industrial purposes.
AGT Foods and Ingredients is one of the businesses already located in that area, but president and CEO Murad Al-Katib believes the future is even brighter for his company with this approval.
The business park will capitalize on existing rail infrastructure, along with a new service road as part of the bypass project, which provides easy access to both the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 33. Al-Katib said roughly 33 acres will include a rail intermodal logistics centre, explaining that will allow trains to come in with containers and intermodal units with the ability to move goods all over North America and the world.
“Moving goods to world markets is an essential part of our economy in the Regina plains,” said Al-Katib. “If we can’t competitively reach world markets from Regina our economy won’t continue to grow and prosper.”
In addition, he said the first phase of development after that will include 48 acres of industrial development with the intent to attract warehousing and distribution companies, other agricultural processors, as well as possibly expanding AGT itself.
The GTH has a similar makeup. However, one of the differences Al-Katib explained is CP Rail serves the GTH while CN Rail will serve the Chuka Creek area. He said this new service will “complement” the GTH, saying the rail companies have different access points and added it’ll be great for Regina companies to have this sort of competition and access.
He has high hopes for the Chuka Creek Business Park, believing it could soon provide a major boost to the local economy.
“This will lead to a significant economic boost in the Regina plains … I believe it won’t be hundreds, I believe it’ll be thousands of new jobs in the coming years.”
The first phase of the intermodal centre will cost about $30 million Al-Katib estimated. He said work is already happening at the site and hopes to have that facility ready by September 2018 at the earliest.