Owners of North Okanagan industrial site ready to welcome '1,000 jobs' - InfoNews

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Owners of North Okanagan industrial site ready to welcome '1,000 jobs'

The site of the former Lavington glass plant.
Image Credit: Restoration Lands
February 04, 2020 - 4:10 PM

Over a decade after the Lavington glass plant closed its doors and roughly 350 jobs were lost, the industrial plant's new owners say their site is ready and can accommodate businesses that could create 1,000 jobs.

Restoration Lands bought the former Owens Illinois Consumers Glass Plant in 2016, and spent $4-million renovating the 445,000 square foot building and are actively looking for a tenant to fill the space as well as having empty lots ready for sale or lease.

"The building is very ready... to bring in a large employer," Restoration Lands owner Michael Molnar told iNFOnews.ca. "Ultimately our goal... is to see 1,000 jobs (created)."

On Jan. 27, Coldstream council unanimously approved a development permit allowing for the subdivision of the 92-acre site.

Molnar said the site is unique as provincially, very little land exists which is zoned for industrial use. In the Interior, the vacancy rate for industrial land is 0.7 per cent, while provincially it sits at 1.6 per cent.

The site has been zoned for industrial use for decades and the lack of available land makes the site a desirable location for companies looking to expand or relocate, he said.

"There's definitely a demand for this type of space we just have to find the right type of end-user," Molnar said.

That end-user could be anything from manufacturing to packaging, to big data, or a distribution centre. Ultimately Molnar, who owns Restoration Lands with members of his family, said it's about bringing jobs to the region.

"The bottom line is we have a lot of working mums and dads that are leaving their families to go work in other cities and regions," he said. "We firmly believe as a family we need to take some of the responsibility and create opportunity here, bottom line, healthy family, healthy community."

The high price of land in the Lower Mainland, along with the cost of housing, which often makes it unaffordable for workers to live there, makes the site an attractive location for business.

The site is being advertised regionally, nationally and internationally.

"Manufacturing is not going anywhere, geopolitically Canada is still a great place to do business," he said.

The 92-acre site has around 60 acres of land which could be used for industrial use, including the renovated glass plant. Molnar said he envisions one to three tenants using the current building and the remaining lots being leased or sold depending on what a client wants.

Molnar said he had two deals for tenants fall through as they couldn't get financing, but is still very optimistic for the site, which has industrial-level power, gas, water and a railway line serving it.

While the site may sit empty right now, Molnar said the unique parcel of land offers immense opportunity for business and ultimately residents of the Okanagan.


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