Ground broken for new liquor facility
Local politicians come out for ground-breaking on new distribution centre
Saturday, Jul 05, 2014 06:00 am
Local and provincial politicians were on hand on Friday to break ground on the new liquor distribution centre being built in St. Albert.
On the empty land east of the Apex Casino, local MLAs Doug Horner, Stephen Khan, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) president and CEO Bill Robinson and deputy mayor Coun. Wes Brodhead turned a bit of sod to mark the occasion, as construction was formally kicked off on the 534,000 square foot facility.
“We’re beginning a new chapter for liquor distribution,” Robinson said.
Brodhead noted the new centre is “historic in many respects,” telling those gathered that the development makes a statement about the vitality of St. Albert and its easy access to major transportation corridors.
It will also bring 440 new job opportunities, Brodhead said.
“Where else would 440 new people rather live than in St. Albert?” he asked the crowd, noting in a follow-up interview that St. Albert will need a mix of housing options for those potential new residents.
The large facility’s square footage is about equal to the total square footage industrial growth that happened in St. Albert between 2002 and 2010, he said.
“With this development we’re confident that complementary development will occur as well,” Brodhead said.
The current warehouse, also located in Campbell Industrial Park, will remain open. The new facility will eliminate the need to lease four warehouses in Edmonton.
Finance Minister Horner also has responsibility for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission as part of his portfolio. He said the new distribution centre will save about $5-million a year in operating costs for the AGLC.
“This has been a long time coming,” Horner said, noting a significant amount of work was done to determine the right location.
“I’m very, very pleased that this is something that’s going to actually make taxpayers money,” Horner said.
Khan noted the opportunities for people of all ages at the warehouse, noting he in fact worked there while in university.
“We know (St. Albert’s) the best place in Canada to live, we’re also very excited about making this the best place in Canada to work,” Khan said.
Construction is estimated to take two and a half years and will be funded from the AGLC’s operations.
Horner said the new facility has been part of the AGLC’s business plan for years, and is a good business case for the commission.
The land was purchased for just over $16 million.