18 May 2021 13:01
The old Navistar site on Richmond Street in Chatham will not sit empty any longer.
Investors Rob Myers, Don Tetrault and Mike Vagi bought the 80-acre property and revealed their vision for the site on Tuesday afternoon. Tetrault said environmental clean-up of the property is starting and separate plots will be put up for sale soon. He said if everything went according to plan, they should have new businesses in a few months.
Tetrault said it expects the site to be in high demand by the commercial and industrial sectors. Tetrault believes the site will generate a lot of interest, as it is fully serviced by public services and is on a major transport route.
“We have completed two years of negotiations with Navistar and have already started preparing the site for the redevelopment,” said Tetrault. “Our goal is to be ready to accept development by the fall of this year.”
Myers hopes to attract businesses and jobs to the community and there have already been three or four government and other inquiries about the site. Tetrault said the trio of owners didn’t have a specific business in mind, they were just looking for the right solution.
“It is a dream of Don and mine to bring him back to life as a major part of Chatham’s economy,” Myers said.
Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff said the purchase by Myers, Tetrault and Vagi is proof that Chatham-Kent’s economy is on the right track.
“Rob, Don and Mike have had a long and successful career. They have investments across Canada and abroad. They could choose anywhere in the world to invest and the fact that they believe in Chatham-Kent is impressive. I can’t think of anyone else who is better able to make this project a success, ”said the mayor.
Mayor Canniff also said Navistar is very happy that the property is no longer inactive and is once again an asset to the community. Myers said the negotiations with Navistar were conducted in a very professional manner.
The price of the property is confidential and the transaction closed 10 days ago.
Myers said the vision does not include starting their own business because the owners are busy enough with other businesses. He said they could build structures to rent to companies, but that plan “most likely” will not include an arena or a hotel. He also hinted at a future announcement that might be more appropriate for an arena, but quickly added that it was a discussion for another day.