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Bioscience sector gets bigger

Feb 29 2008

CORNWALL — A major new development is planned for the Cornwall Business Park that will make it the centre of Prince Edward Island’s emerging commercial bioscience industry.

Allan Holdings Inc, owned by well-known farmer and business owner Donald Allan of West Covehead, is building a two-storey, 50,000 square foot building that will house up to six bioscience businesses. Two international bioscience businesses are already committed to going into the building, which will create 30 new, full-time jobs. A third company is in negotiations with the owners of the building. An official announcement is expected within weeks. The names of the two companies are not known.

Tim Banks, the owner of APM, which operates the Cornwall Business Park, described it as an exciting development for Cornwall.
Banks will be building the new complex for Allan Holdings Inc.
“This is a pretty exciting project for Cornwall and all of P.E.I.,’’ said Banks.

The provincial government is financing the $4-million development. Cabinet documents obtained by The Guardian show that the provincial government is providing two five-year term loans to Allan Holding Inc. The first loan is for $2.25 million to construct the multi-tenant building in the Cornwall Business Park. The province is also providing a second loan for $350,000 to finance the fit-up costs related to the tenants. The money is being provided by the Department of Development through Island Investment Development Inc.
Development Minister Richard Brown confirmed the project is going ahead in Cornwall. He said it is a natural fit.

“The MLA for the area did some lobbying,’’ said Brown. “It’s the closest to the university and to the other industrial park where we are running out of land. This property was available and the MLA for the area was working hard for it.’’ Brown denies Bank’s political connections — he’s a former president of the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island — had anything to do with the project. He said Banks is the owner of the business park and the building is actually owned by Allan Holdings Inc. “We were looking at developing a bioscience park and Mr. Banks came along and said ‘look, I can do this’.’’

Construction will begin in April and it will be completed in August. Donald Allan, president of Allan Holdings, is out of the country and could not be reached for comment. Cornwall Mayor Patrick MacFadyen said he’s ecstatic to see development. “It’s been a long time coming,’’ said MacFadyen. “The business park has been up for 10 years and it’s really been slow going.’’ The Cornwall Business Park is home to only a handful of businesses. MacFadyen said this latest development would not have gone ahead if a controversial set of traffic lights had not been installed at the intersection to the business park. Those lights were at the centre of a conflict of interest complaint against

Transportation and Public Works Minister Ron MacKinley. Conservative Mike Currie launched the complaint because of its close proximity to a development by well-known Liberal Clifford McQuaid. “People have told us they do not want to put businesses in the business park because the access was dangerous,’’ said MacFadyen, noting that a business actually left the business park because of the dangerous intersection and another refused to go there without the lights. “It certainly makes our business park a more attractive place to build in since the lights were installed.’’


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