Ford to open 531,000-square-foot distribution centre in Casselman

Ford distribution centre

Ford Canada will be the anchor tenant in a new 1.1-million-square-foot industrial hub in Casselman, the companies behind the plan said Friday.

A pair of Quebec-based firms, Rosefellow and Bertone Development, are partnering on the multi-phased development. The project is slated to eventually include three buildings, with work already under way on a $95-million, 531,000-square-foot auto parts distribution centre for Ford that’s expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023.

Casselman is about 55 kilometres southeast of Ottawa. Rosefellow co-founder Mike Jager said the automaker was attracted to the site because of its close proximity to major population centres in eastern Ontario and Quebec, its amenities such as restaurants and hotels and its “work, live, play” lifestyle.

“You have all that in Casselman,” he said.

The Ford distribution centre is located on a 1.5-million-square-foot parcel of land just off Hwy. 417. Jager said the builders are finalizing a deal to buy an additional 1.5 million square feet of nearby property that’s eventually expected to be home to two more buildings of 130,000 and 400,000 square feet.

The proposed facilities don’t have tenants yet, but Jager said he’s not worried given eastern Ontario’s growing prominence as an e-commerce distribution hotbed. 

“We’re firm believers in spec builds,” said. “If you build it, they will come. We believe that the market will be able to absorb (the space) quickly.”