The Client, a leading Canadian-based land developer, sought a site-specific evaluation for rail development, strategic planning, and project support for a greenfield rail-served industrial site in Calgary, Canada. The challenge was to evaluate the rail value for the site through a commodity and location analysis to help identify beneficial rail and logistics-based commodities, industries, and users for the site to increase its latent value. The Client was looking to use the information to support their efforts to market the property to the best-suited tenet(s), ideally in ways that would leverage its robust rail and road logistics assets.
Leveraging PLG Consulting’s extensive years of rail and logistics industry experience combined with their 10-step site selection evaluation and development process, the Client partnered with PLG to research, analyze, and develop a strategic roadmap for the site’s highest and best target industries and tenets. PLG provided an overall site vision and development plan, which included steps for its implementation. PLG designed a communication strategy for Class I railroads, other logistics service providers, local communities, and industrial development agencies, covering site positioning, marketing plans, and rail design support and optimization.
“The Simpson Group of Companies owns a large parcel of developable land adjacent to the CPKC (Canadian Pacific Kansas City) mainline. We are industrial and commercial developers; however, we have never completed a large industrial site adjacent to rail and are unfamiliar with rail. One of PLG’s clients referred us to PLG to help us evaluate how we could develop the property with a rail and logistics focus.
Rob Russell, Sr. PLG Consultant, enabled us to understand the local Calgary rail and logistics market and Calgary’s role in the greater North American Logistics network. Rob made understanding rail easier and facilitated multiple discussions with CPKC and community leaders to help us and the local governments understand the opportunities of developing this site for rail. In addition, Rob provided expert insight and support to complete the development concept with CPKC and identify rail development players we could partner with going forward. Without PLG, we wouldn’t be looking at this great opportunity to develop the Shepard Logistics Centre, with the focus being rail.”
– Ryan Riddell | Vice President | Shepard Development Group
Working collaboratively with the Client, PLG provided the outlined deliverables:
1. Market Research and Commodity Flows
- Overall assessment of multimodal logistics and specifically rail-served capability and capacity availability intersected with demand in the Calgary area.
- Delivered inbound and outbound commodity flows and market analysis – specifically, rail carload and intermodal commodities and industries
- Quantitative analysis of local real estate demand and warehousing focused on area opportunities
2. Analysis and Target Identification
Based upon the developed use plan, PLG identified the highest/best targets of new industries and commodities to potentially utilize the Client’s industrial site. A high-level strategy and value proposition were developed for each prospective opportunity, along with identifying selected potential companies/industry participants for outreach.
3. Industrial Development Strategy
In the final project phase, PLG provided a high-level review of the site’s strengths and weaknesses related to further development and provided recommendations on site and facility improvements/mitigations. Additionally, the Client reviewed a competitive assessment benchmarking other development considerations in the form of a SWOC analysis. Lastly, PLG developed a site marketing and positioning strategy for the Client’s site and a plan to help support the Client’s engaging local stakeholders who could help promote the development site.