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This article was published 23/5/2017 (1452 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A former St. Boniface gas station/automotive junkyard is being transformed into a new shipping office, cold-storage facility and paved storage yard for Star Building Materials.
The $4.9-million redevelopment of the 4.5-acre property, located at the corner of Speers Road and Maginot Street, is the latest phase in an $18-million expansion project that got underway in 2014 and is expected to be completed late next year or in early 2019.
The first phase of the three-phase project involved an investment of $2.1 million on several new buildings, new drainage, some asphalt paving and some cantilevered product racking on another property the company owns on the other side of Speers Road.
Phase three, scheduled to get underway next year, involves the construction of a new $10-million retail/office/warehouse complex next door to the company’s existing retail outlet at 16 Speers Rd.
Star Building Materials vice-president Jim Phillips said in a recent interview the expansion was necessary because the company had outgrown its existing location.
"What we’re going to get out of this (new) yard... is increased efficiencies," Phillips explained. "Right now, our customer-service yard and our shipping yard are together, so there is a lot of cross-over in traffic. This (new yard) will be dedicated strictly to shipping."
He said Star Building Materials and its parent company — Winnipeg’s Qualico — originally considered building on a greenfield property outside the Perimeter Highway.
"However, the decision was made to stay in the community we live in and give back to where we came from."
The new shipping office will be 1,800 square feet in size. The cold-storage facility will be about 8,000 sq.-ft., and will be used to store building materials which need to be protected from the elements.
The Phase 3 building will be 54,000 sq.-ft. in size, and will include an 18,500-sq.-ft. retail store, a 14,000-sq.-ft. drive-through warehouse, a 9,000-sq.-ft. receiving area and 2,500 square feet of main-floor office space.
There will also be another 10,000 sq.-ft. of office and meeting space on the second floor.
Phillips said Star Building Materials spent $100,000 to remediate the former gas station property, which it acquired about a year ago from a local family. That included removing several underground gas tanks.
He said the Phase 2 buildings should be ready for occupancy by late this fall.
Phillips noted the company’s existing retail store will remain open next year while the new retail/office/warehouse building is under construction.
"That’s pretty critical to us in the construction business, because people expect product right away."
Star Building Materials’ customers include homeowners, homebuilders, home-renovation contractors, and commercial builders. Phillips said the expansion will not only enable the company to continue growing, butto expand its 180-member workforce by about 10 per cent.
In addition to its building-materials operations, Star has two other divisions: Star Ready To Move Homes and Star Truss. The latter supplies prefab floor and roof trusses and engineered wood products — things like joists, beams and wall framing — to builders in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. Qualico also has spent about $2 million over the last few years on improvements to those operations.