Construction at former Budds factory could start next spring
Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Friday, October 6, 2017 5:03PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 6, 2017 6:28PM EDT
While the future of one of Kitchener’s biggest abandoned industrial sites was cleared up this week, the owner of another large vacant property says progress is slowly but surely being made there.
“It looks like it’s idle, but it’s not,” says Gary Ball.
“We’re moving forward.”
Ball is a co-owner of the former Budds property at Bleams Road and Homer Watson Boulevard.
An automotive manufacturing hub for decades, the property has been empty since its last tenant, Kitchener Frame, closed down in 2009.
Ball and a group of other businessmen purchased it for $15 million shortly thereafter, and have been working to redevelop it ever since. It’s been a long process of environmental remediation and other work.
A similar process could take place in the near future a few kilometres away on Courtland Avenue, where the former Schneiders meat manufacturing facility has been sold to Auburn Developments.
The London-based company says it’s planning a massive redevelopment, which could include more than 2,000 residential units and 150,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.
Redevelopment of the property could begin next year, although it is not expected to be complete for several years.
If the site at Homer Watson and Bleams is any indication, it could be a long process.
There have been signs of progress there recently. Ball says water and sewer work is complete, and asphalt will start to be laid later this month.
Work is also happening behind the scenes to attract potential tenants to the property.
Ball says there are plans to put up a medical building on the property, and keep two existing buildings for industrial uses.
“We’re in discussions with buyers and potential tenants for both of them right now,” he says.
Ball says construction of new buildings could start next spring.
With reporting by Stu Gooden