Six industrial companies and agribusinesses are under contract or in final negotiations for stage one of the Peel Business Park, with LandCorp rolling out expressions of interest for the development's second phase.
Situated on dormant land north east of Mandurah in Nambeelup, Peel Business Park has been tipped to become the new local home of agri-innovation and industry.
Three of the initial purchasers are light industrial businesses that currently operate locally.
Peel Development Commission chief executive officer Andrew Ward said their motivation for moving was based on infrastructural challenges.
"Agribusinesses and industrial companies [are] wanting to relocate and expand within the Peel region or start new businesses at the park," he said.
"Local light industrial businesses are relocating within the Peel region due to the expansion opportunities that Peel Business Park can offer.
"Only three lots now remain available for purchase in stage one."
Shire of Murray president David Bolt said the local government would continue to progress Agri-Innovation Precinct efforts to ensure the project is ready for occupation by early 2022.
"The [Shire of Murray] will go to market shortly to secure project management expertise and is concluding negotiations with foundation tenants including Murdoch University and Fund Singapore," Mr Bolt told the Mail.
"A design brief will be developed to inform precinct building footprints and equipment requirements, and an architect will be appointed leading to concept drawings, project design and costings by the end of 2019."
Mr Bolt said the Shire of Murray was "working diligently" to ensure construction on the Agri-Innovation Precinct commenced in early 2020.
An architect will be appointed leading to concept drawings, project design and costings by the end of 2019.Shire of Murray president David Bolt
The project is funded through a $21.75 million federal government Regional Growth Fund grant, which will enable the construction of common-use infrastructure including research facilities, cold storage, warehousing, packaging and distribution, and incubator space.
Both Mr Ward and Mr Bolt said it was pleasing to see that the development had received "strong interest" since LandCorp released stage one.
"We are encouraged by the strong demand that Peel Business Park has received since the release of stage one lots in October 2018," Mr Ward said.
"The Commission continues to take a long-term approach to the Peel Business Park and the wider Transform Peel initiative with investment attraction from the industry sector, as well as economic diversification incentives via the Agri-Innovation precinct, to be developed by the Shire of Murray.
"Planning implications at both a local and state level also play a key role in the development of the project, as does the coordination and collaboration between stakeholders along with strategic communications to promote the Peel Business Park and generate awareness at a local, state and national level.
"LandCorp, together with the Shire of Murray, are offering some real incentives for businesses to establish in the Peel Business Park.
"The Commission also continues its work with [the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation] to understand water access and security for investors, ensuring nutrient management to protect the Peel Harvey Estuary."
Local businesses urged to consider park for expansion
The push for businesses to relocate comes at a time when light industrial areas are calling for more activation.
Last Thursday, the Mail reported Mandurah's light industrial businesses were facing "challenging times" with a decline in local economic activity and an increasing influx of competitors.
Mr Ward said the park was a great alternative location and a way to alleviate the situation.
"General and light industrial, and service commercial businesses, will benefit from the park's location and flexibility of lot sizes, which is not constrained by surrounding land uses," he said.
"Offering strategically-located land for new and emerging industries, Peel Business Park, Nambeelup services a broad range of sectors, including agriculture, technology, research and development, as well as general and light industrial businesses."
Headway on trunk infrastructure
Mr Bolt said LandCorp was currently advancing "essential trunk infrastructure" for the provision of power, water, sewerage and roads, bulk earthworks including subdivision works, as well as land sales for stage one lots.
Mr Ward said LandCorp aimed to commence road upgrades later this year.
"Local Peel business Wormall Civil commenced construction for Peel Business Park in March 2019 for essential trunk infrastructure and bulk earthworks," Mr Ward said.
"Further trunk infrastructure and civil works construction for the Business Park are anticipated to progress until mid-2020.
"Trunk infrastructure works are being delivered through Transform Peel $45.2 million Royalties for Regions funding.
"These works are expected to create around 300 local construction jobs, with a further 160 permanent operational workforce jobs once LandCorp's first stage development area is fully operational.
Only three lots now remain available for purchase in stage one.Peel Development Commission chief executive officer Andrew Ward
"The scope of the trunk infrastructure includes an eight kilometres extension of power, five kilometres extension of water, sewer and telecommunications, three-and-a-half kilometres of road upgrades and two-and-a-half kilometres of gas infrastructure extension.
"This will result in a fully-serviced lots in stage one and create the foundation for the seed development of Peel Business Park.
"In addition to infrastructure works currently underway, upgrading the surrounding roads is essential to support the growth that Peel Business Park will bring to the Nambeelup Industrial area."
For more information on the Peel Business Park, visit Land Corp's website.
Have an opinion? Send us a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Caitlyn Rintoul on Twitter via @caitlynrintoul.