Buckingham Business Park offering residential-quality features

When people think of a mixed-use development consisting of commercial and light industrial, images of parks, ponds and trails don’t often pop into their heads.

But Wexford Developments thought the natural features actually go very well together and decided to implement them in Buckingham Business Park, which is located just north of Costco on Broadmoor Boulevard.

The whole development is centred around two large ponds with a hefty green space that wraps around it. As well, the corner lot has actually been saved for a large regional park.

“It sets a new standard for municipal development. There is an environmental reserve, pedestrian trails, a large 10-acre park, two big ponds that all of the lots are centred around and many other natural elements,” said Kendal Harazny, principal of Wexford Developments. “Employees are going to be able enjoy going out for a walk or a bike ride around the trails.”

The natural features of the area was one of the main selling points for Tom Burke of Chester Developments, who purchased a 12.5 acre parcel in Buckingham. The lot he purchased faces the pond, has an environmental reserve on one side, the regional park on the other and green space behind it.

“It’s an unbelievable piece of property. Ninety percent of the frontage is parkland. I could see this as a development for residential, not industrial,” he said. “I’ve really never seen a residential grade development like this that is being built for media and light industrial.”

Burke is using the land to build a unique 173,000 square foot building, which he will lease out. Rather than being a prefab structure like most are in the area, it will be a concrete tilt building, a type of architecture more common to BC’s lower mainland.

Although Burke could have put several buildings on his plot of land, he decided to just build one, but offer each of the tenants ample yard space.

“About 30 per cent of commercial tenants want yard space, but there is virtually none available locally,” he said, noting developers usually want to maximize space by filling it with buildings and very little yard space.

Buckingham will be home to Pembina Pipeline’s new facility and Canadian Hyrdrovac, Volker Stevin, Nerval and Scamp Transport have also bought in to the development. Harazny said it will also likely be home to auto dealers and hotels in the future. The 100-acre development will also be home to several retailers as well, according to Harazny.

Many of the buildings are already under construction and paving of the roads will be completed within the next few weeks.

The Chester building currently has several of its walls up and Burke said he was hopeful the remaining walls would be in place before winter weather hit. If the walls are up before winter, he said the building could be ready for tenants as early as June.

Because concrete tilt construction is so rare in the area, an architect from Vancouver was brought it to design the building. Burke said he is very excited to see the finished product, which will also feature wood timbers, which are cantilevered out from the building to form canopies. He also said the building will feature wood and stone accents, something you don’t usually see in light or medium industrial areas.

“Usually industrial buildings here are just boxes. But this is a unique development and I decided I needed to make a building that I can be very proud of,” he said.

This article, written by Edmonton freelance writer Dave S. Clark was originally published by Sherwood Park News.