Safavieh project breaking ground in Spring 2023

The for lease sign on the future site of Safavieh Home Furnishing’s distribution centre in the Morrisburg Industrial Park is to lease unused space on the 21-acre site. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – Concerns over an access road and the economy will not delay the start of construction for a planned 500,000 square foot warehouse and distribution point in the Morrisburg Industrial Park.

American furniture and carpet retailer Safavieh Home Furnishings purchased the remaining 21 acre parcel of land in the industrial park in a deal that closed last December.

The company’s Canadian representative, Reza Sarshoghi, spoke to The Leader about Safavieh’s plans and concerns for the site, and a recent for lease sign that appeared on the property.

Sarshoghi said the company only needed 15 acres for its 500,000 square foot, 20-bay warehouse at the corner of Campbell Street and Prospect Road, but the company bought the remaining nine acres.

“We bought everything,” he said, explaining that the remaining land is available for lease by other companies. Signs advertising the available lease, and that the property is the future home of the Safavieh company went up in recent weeks on the property.

The Morrisburg property is the first of two, that Safavieh had agreed to purchase, to close. The company also has a tentative purchase agreement with the City of Cornwall for a parcel of land in its east-end industrial park.

Sarshoghi explained that due to wet land concerns, the company signed purchase agreements for both properties, but has only completed its purchase in Morrisburg.

Cornwall Economic Development Officer Bob Peters confirmed that the city’s deal with Safavieh has not closed and is tentative on the city extending Nick Kaneb Drive further into its industrial park.

“Cornwall’s announcement of the deal was premature,” Sarshoghi said.

While Safavieh is moving forward on its Morrisburg development, the company also wants an improvement to the industrial park – direct access to County Road 31. Currently the park is connected to County Road 2.

“We’re concerned about trucks going through the roundabout,” Sarshoghi said. “There has already been damage by transports going through it.”

When asked, South Dundas mayor Jason Broad explained that he would like to see an access road built.

“An access road would be beneficial for all the businesses in that park, but it’s not something we’re going to take on and pay for,” Broad said. “The end users would have to build it and then we would maintain it. South Dundas is not opposed to [the road] but we’re not paying for it.”

The extension of Campbell Street and municipal services was completed by the municipality to open up the remaining portion of the industrial park. Broad said the work by past councils to do that is the financial commitment for access to the park.

“If a developer wanted to construct the road, we’d be happy to assume it after constructed,” he said, pointing out a similar arrangement in Long Sault where SDG Counties will assume ownership of the access road for the large logistics park under construction.

South Dundas’ economic development officer Rob Hunter said there has not been any feasibility studies completed or plans submitted. He added that the wetlands in the area could prohibit an access road from being constructed.

Sarshoghi said that the access road is not a deal breaker but the company is keeping an eye on economic conditions.

“We’re still looking at breaking ground in Spring 2023,” he said.

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