February 29, 2008
Bioscience sector gets bigger
Major addition to Cornwall business mall to house two to six
— A major new development is planned for the Cornwall Business Park
that will make it the centre of Prince Edward Islandâ€™s emerging
commercial bioscience industry.
Allan Holdings Inc, owned by well-known farmer and business owner
Donald Allan of West Covehead, is building a two-storey, 50,000
square foot building that will house up to six bioscience
businesses. Two international bioscience businesses are already
committed to going into the building, which will create 30 new,
full-time jobs. A third company is in negotiations with the owners
of the building. An official announcement is expected within weeks.
The names of the two companies are not known.
Tim Banks, the owner of APM, which operates the Cornwall Business
Park, described it as an exciting development for Cornwall.
Banks will be building the new complex for Allan Holdings Inc.
“This is a pretty exciting project for Cornwall and all of P.E.I.,â€™â€™
The provincial government is financing the $4-million development.
Cabinet documents obtained by The Guardian show that the provincial
government is providing two five-year term loans to Allan Holding
Inc. The first loan is for $2.25 million to construct the
multi-tenant building in the Cornwall Business Park. The province is
also providing a second loan for $350,000 to finance the fit-up
costs related to the tenants. The money is being provided by the
Department of Development through Island Investment Development Inc.
Development Minister Richard Brown confirmed the project is going
ahead in Cornwall. He said it is a natural fit.
“The MLA for the area did some lobbying,â€™â€™ said Brown. “Itâ€™s the
closest to the university and to the other industrial park where we
are running out of land. This property was available and the MLA for
the area was working hard for it.â€™â€™ Brown denies Bankâ€™s political
connections — heâ€™s a former president of the Liberal Party of Prince
Edward Island — had anything to do with the project. He said Banks
is the owner of the business park and the building is actually owned
by Allan Holdings Inc. “We were looking at developing a bioscience
park and Mr. Banks came along and said ‘look, I can do thisâ€™.â€™â€™
Construction will begin in April and it will be completed in August.
Donald Allan, president of Allan Holdings, is out of the country and
could not be reached for comment. Cornwall Mayor Patrick MacFadyen
said heâ€™s ecstatic to see development. “Itâ€™s been a long time
coming,â€™â€™ said MacFadyen. “The business park has been up for 10
years and itâ€™s really been slow going.â€™â€™ The Cornwall Business Park
is home to only a handful of businesses. MacFadyen said this latest
development would not have gone ahead if a controversial set of
traffic lights had not been installed at the intersection to the
business park. Those lights were at the centre of a conflict of
interest complaint against
Transportation and Public Works Minister Ron MacKinley. Conservative
Mike Currie launched the complaint because of its close proximity to
a development by well-known Liberal Clifford McQuaid. “People have
told us they do not want to put businesses in the business park
because the access was dangerous,â€™â€™ said MacFadyen, noting that a
business actually left the business park because of the dangerous
intersection and another refused to go there without the lights. “It
certainly makes our business park a more attractive place to build
in since the lights were installed.â€™â€™