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National developer eyes 200 hectares in Caledonia

Standoff not a concern, broker says

Lisa Grace Marr
Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA (Jun 14, 2006)

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. Mainstream media often presents biased and distorted information, lacking pertinent facts and/or context. Inclusion of this article on our site should not be considered an endorsement by SISIS.]

A national real estate developer is poised to invest in more than 200 hectares of property and build about 2,500 homes in and around Caledonia despite the native standoff.

Bruce MacDonald, a Royal LePage real estate broker who is negotiating the deal along with broker Ron Hewitt, said construction depends on a number of conditions related to municipal approvals. Native land claim issues are not a concern for the developer.

MacDonald would not name the developer or provide other details until the deal is final.

"We are in the process of negotiating a series of deals for a national developer who's quite excited," he said. "It's going to be a real classy addition to town."

MacDonald said the development will reflect a new concept in residential planning, with paths and parks similar to other master planned communities such as Millcroft in Burlington.

The potential deal offers more hope to the community following yesterday's news that the Highway 6 bypass has reopened and there's potential for re-opening the damaged rail line to Nanticoke Industrial Park where Stelco's Lake Erie Steel, Air Products Canada, the Nanticoke Generating Station and Imperial Oil are located.

Most businesses managed to make other arrangements for shipping.

Robert Theberge, Imperial Oil spokesman, said the suspension of rail service caused some disruption, but the company has maintained Ontario deliveries by truck and ship.

"We have incurred additional costs (as a result of the standoff)," he said.

"Those costs have not yet been tabulated. We did not have to lay off staff. In fact, we had to hire more staff to help us load trucks and that kind of thing.

"You do what you have to do to keep things running."

Helen Reeves, Stelco spokesperson, said the standoff meant more truck traffic and about a 15-minute delay in getting products to and from Hamilton.

MacDonald was excited about the potential for the big development to stimulate Caledonia's growth and acknowledged that real estate activity has slowed. He usually has about 60 to 70 homes for sale, but now has about 30.

Property values have held steady. "A semi-detached came up one day, sold the next for close to $200,000."

Steve Miazga, Haldimand County's general manager of planning, said staff have created short, medium and long-term strategies for economic recovery to be presented to council next Monday.

Ralph Luimes, CEO at Hald-Nor Credit Union, said that kind of plan is desperately needed. Residential growth will be slow due to the occupation of Douglas Creek Estates, despite the possible upcoming project. "That will take some time. Developers tend to think years ahead.

"(The re-opening of the bypass) is exciting. That gives us a sense of hope and achievement but at the same time, we have to be aware that (Douglas Creek) is a flashpoint," he said.

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