A real estate development company that purchased land at the Pictou roundabout is currently in negotiations with national gas and quick service retailers to place their businesses in this location.
David Wallace, vice president of development for Somerled Properties, said Thursday Lot B has good viewpoints and is ideal for businesses wanting to offer roadside service. The traffic coming from the Northumberland Ferries terminal in Caribou is also a drawing point while existing retailers will complement new businesses. Lot B is located in front of the business plaza which houses Sobeys, Subway and the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation.
“There is a big buzz happening in Pictou,” he said, adding working with council and town staff has been very positive. “We are excited that we will be providing additional services to meet the ever-growing needs of both community and commuters.”
The Town of Pictou announced in late April that it had sold Lot B at the roundabout for $250,000 to Somerled Properties. The sale of the property works out to $1.95 a square foot. The town has a stipulation in place that the land cannot be banked and if it sits for too long, the town has the option of buying it back. It also stipulated that the franchises cannot be existing businesses in the same location.
Wallace wouldn’t name the businesses that Somerled Properties is currently in negotiations with, but he said the goal is to break ground in late summer or early fall with the retailers opening in early 2019.
Typically, Somerled Properties purchases land, builds the buildings and enters into long-term leases with a corporate company or franchise. It recently opened similar locations in Antigonish, Yarmouth and Dartmouth that include gas and fast food service locations.
He said it is common to see gas and quick-service restaurants together in the same location because each like to grow together and offer customers the convenience of making one stop for all of their needs when they are travelling.
The town said it is currently in sale negotiations for Lot A, located near Proudfoots Home Hardware, and Lot C near the Pine Tree Road. Each of these lots has water and sewer service and the town is wanting to extend the same services farther along Pine Tree Road in hopes of drawing more businesses to the area.
There are lots of commercial land already purchased on Pine Tree Road ready to be developed. The town has also asked the province for permission to purchase the visitor information centre at the roundabout, but this sale still needs to be approved by government.
In the meantime, Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores has been given permission once again to open for the season in the VIC building and Logan’s Fish Market will also return.
Subway is moving its location from the Sobeys Plaza into a separate neighbouring building that will allow it to have a drive-thru. Another business, which hasn’t been officially announced yet, is expected to be moving into the Sobeys plaza.