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Gander International Airport had the province’s first 24-hour liquor license and escalator.

Airport Authority aims to fast track business park development

(Feb. 8, 2013) The Gander International Airport Authority (GIAA) is proceeding with developing a 150-acre business park on its land. The proposed property development spans the area adjacent Cooper and James Blvd and Roe Avenue.

“In a growing retail landscape, this will be an exceptional location for businesses,” explained Steve Burbridge, P.Eng., GIAA Manager of Infrastructure. “Gander is certainly constrained by a lack of premium, high visibility, and accessible retail spaces and this development will help address that need.”

Mr. Burbridge said the development will unify the current retail power cluster on Roe Avenue and create one convenient commercial district.

“One of the primary collector roads will run parallel to Roe and connect with it, which will create a consolidated business destination,” he said. “This will benefit both incumbent tenants already doing business on Roe Avenue and prospective new businesses operating from the new adjacent location.”

Mr. Burbridge said the airport’s commercial development department has already fielded eight qualified expressions of interest for businesses seeking long-term lease of lots on airport managed land.

“It’s evident there is a pent up demand from retailers looking to relocate, grow or establish new operations,” he said. “We aim to fast track this development because, in the absence of suitable space in this community to accommodate growth, retailers may take their operations to other jurisdictions.”

In December of 2012, a conceptual design, produced by CECON Ltd., was submitted to the Town of Gander for review. After a consultative process, council granted approval in principle for the project.

“We are now resubmitting a detailed design for the town’s final approval,” Mr. Burbridge explained. “From there, we are prepared to tender construction and get the shovel in the soil.”

GIAA President and CEO Gary Vey said that developing commercial land has remained a strategic focus for the airport authority over the last decade.

“It is no secret we have worked very hard to generate non-traditional revenue. We are fortunate to manage, right on our property, what is a premium location for a complementary business park development,” he said. “As we have told our stakeholders time and again, it is of paramount importance that the GIAA shore up sources of long-term, sheltered revenue to ensure a sustainable future for the airport. It is no secret that Gander’s traditional business of international fuel stops is in continued decline and we are working very hard to replace that revenue. The domestic passenger market continues to grow and we have high hopes for commercial development as well.”

Mr. Vey said the GIAA views a development as a positive for the airport, community and region.

“The town will benefit from an increased tax base as the airport and its tenants already contribute over $1 million in municipal taxes annually. The proposed development is completely complementary to the existing business park on Roe and will enhance access, relieve congestion and establish a common, visible business district,” he said. “Retailers will be able to avail of a strategic location to do business and consumers from the throughout Central Newfoundland can enjoy a better shopping experience with more choices. From the airport’s perspective, we can secure revenue that’s sheltered from the international market as we seek to reinvent the airport for modern times. It will allow us to reinvest in an important community asset and critical piece of enabling transportation infrastructure.”

The Gander International Airport Authority is the not-for-profit organization created in 1996 to manage operations at Gander International Airport (CYQX). The airport plays a key role in the economic and community development of the Central Newfoundland region. This year, the airport celebrates 75 years of operations.

For further information, contact:

Gary Vey, President and CEO

Phone: (709) 256-6668


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