TRURO, N.S. – Drivers running low on fuel will soon have one more place to stop right off Hwy 104 when a new Ultramar is completed.
The eight-pump gas station, together with an On The Run convenience store and as-yet unnamed restaurant, will be on the corner of Salmon River and Pictou Roads, about 500 metres from the Hwy 104 interchange. Bulldozers are currently levelling ground at the site and construction is expected to start in the next week, with the complex likely opening for business by year’s end.
“We try to find locales that capture highway traffic and that of the community such as Valley or Bible Hill,” said Dave Wallace, vice-president of development for Somerled Properties Inc. “It’s all about location and convenience.”
For their new development, Somerled, owned by Donald MacDonald, purchased two acres out of 29 from Saywood and Groves Holdings Ltd. on Salmon River Road. The upcoming building will total 6,500 square feet with the pumps out front and include the convenience store, washrooms and electrical/water areas and what Wallace described as “a quick-service restaurant.” The building will go up next to eight Ultramar gas pumps.
While the restaurant cannot yet be named, Wallace said that it would “be in the vicinity of 3,500 square feet,” in the upcoming commercial building.
The Somerled land will be leased out to Parkland Fuels, which will run the store, as well as the unnamed restaurant chain. DORA Construction is responsible for building the new development.
As well as Valley, Somerled owns similar commercial properties in its home base of Dartmouth, as well as Yarmouth and Antigonish. Another such development is planned for Pictou.
“This is an example of going to a secondary market – a rural community. It’s a great example of economic development, job creation and (generating) taxes,” said Wallace.
Currently, drivers travelling between Halifax and eastern Nova Scotia running low on gas must turn off Hwy 104 and drive several kilometres into Bible Hill for fuel.
“There’s approximately 70 km between the Westville Irving and the gas station at Masstown. It’s not necessarily in between, but would cut up that 70 km,” said Wallace.
But Wallace said the Salmon River development will be a new commercial node at the eastern end of Valley, catering to roughly 10,000 people living within five kilometres of it. He said these local people are presently underserved, as are passing motorists.
The remaining 27 acres of land near the construction site are still owned by Saywood and Groves Holdings Ltd. and Wallace said it would be used to build a new residential area over the next decade.