by David Parker, Calgary Herald – June 13, 2020
“Excellent transportation efficiencies, outstanding labour force and compelling real estate economics,” are sound reasons Adrian Munro, president of Highfield Investment Group, gives for the success of his High Plains Industrial Park.
Located along Highway 566, just east of the CrossIron Mills shopping centre in Rocky View County, it has been chosen by Lowe’s Canada as the site for a new 1,230,000-square-foot distribution centre. The huge facility represents an investment of more than $120 million by one of Canada’s leading home improvement retailers, operating or servicing more than 470 corporate and affiliated stores under different banners.
“This new distribution centre will allow us to substantially enhance our distribution network capacity and serve our Lowe’s and RONA affiliated dealers throughout Western Canada,” says Gregor Stuart, senior vice-president of supply chain at Lowe’s.
Great news for this area, it will consolidate the capacity of several existing Lowe’s Canada satellite warehouses and regional distribution centres in the Calgary market. The company’s existing distribution centre, at 2015 60th Street S.E., will not be affected by the new project and will remain in operation.
Reeve Greg Boehlke says Rocky View County “is delighted to welcome another Lowe’s facility,” adding that “the county has focused on attracting world-class facilities through strong transportation corridors, competitive taxes and reasonable regulatory requirements.”
Lowe’s Canada was brought to High Plains Industrial Park by Marshall Toner, managing director and national lead of industrial for JLL Canada, working with Iain Ferguson, the executive vice-president of industrial and logistics in the CBRE Calgary office who represents the park in all real estate matters.
It was a big venture to pull together a 69-acre site to accommodate the needs for a 1.23-million-square-foot building with 406 trailer parking stalls. Designed by Harris Architects based in Chicago, construction will begin this month by Clark Builders with an estimated completion date of fall of 2021. It will have a 36-foot clear height, 74 dock doors and include a 325,000-square-foot racked area, a 625,000-square-foot bulk storage area, an 11,000-square-foot main office, and a 7,000-square-foot warehouse office.
Lowe’s says High Plains offers plenty of room to accommodate its large space requirements as well as future expansion capacity. Another key element in the choice of the park was the highly efficient access to Highway 2 and Stoney Trail, ideal to serve Calgary, Edmonton and many other cities across Western Canada. A company spokesperson said it is also appreciative of the fact that the park has been conceptualized with a focus on the environment, through an innovative and sophisticated management system that naturally filters and cleans all stormwater via a series of on-site ponds and wetlands.
The 1,100-acre master planned industrial park is home to many other corporate clients with big-building needs, including GFS, Smucker’s, Borger, Sobeys, Home Depot and Penske. Remarkably, by the time the new Lowe’s building is completed, the largest master planned industrial park in Western Canada will have five million square feet under roof, all since construction inception in 2012.
Highfield Investment Group is a Calgary-based company that operates and manages assets in residential and commercial real estate developments, construction, property management, oil & gas, hospitality and farming, and a thoroughbred racing and breeding operation.
Lowe’s and its related businesses serve approximately 18 million customers a week in the U.S. and Canada, with sales in 2019 of $72.1 billion through home improvement and hardware stores; in Canada the companies have more than 26,000 associates, in addition to approximately 5,000 employees.