News — The city is moving swiftly to support construction of Chinese infant formula processing plant in Kingston.
Feihe International is investing $225 million to build a large-scale dairy processing operation, and research and development facility in the Cataraqui Estates Business Park, near Gardiners Road and Highway 401.
In advance of this spring’s anticipated groundbreaking, city planners have endorsed the necessary zoning changes for construction to begin on 18 hectares of land at 1316 Centennial Drive. The changes will allow Feihe to construct a sprawling building that will range from 28 metres to 44 metres tall, while reducing the number of required parking spaces around it.
“The proposal is compatible with the surrounding land uses,” according to a report by planning director Paige Agnew, who added: “The requested zoning bylaw amendment represents good land use planning.”
The overall development plan includes the construction of a massive 30,000 square metre (323,000 square feet) building covering approximately 2.9 hectares. To put that into perspective, the Feihe industrial plant will be larger than the Frontenac Mall and about half the size of the new Providence Care Hospital and Cataraqui Centre shopping mall in terms of square footage.
It will have access from both Venture Drive and a future street east of the proposed building, 188 parking spaces and several loading spaces will be located along the eastern side of the proposed building, she explained.
Agnew says most of the area surrounding the proposed industrial plant is undeveloped.
The application went to the city’s planning committee for approval Feb. 16, and could be finalized by council next month — just three months after Feihe officials gathered at city hall to announce their first venture into Canada.
They say the new manufacturing and R&D facilities will employ over 200 people, mainly drawn from the local workforce.
The plant is scheduled to open in early 2019, but most of the infant formula it produces will be exported to the Chinese market.