“I have the best landlord in the country,” says Ron Foxcroft, Chairman and CEO of Fluke Transport, about his experience as a Hamilton Port Authority (HPA) tenant. It is just the kind of comment that the Port Authority likes to hear, and works hard to cultivate.
The Port of Hamilton is home to 120 business tenants, located on its 600 acres of industrial and commercial property. The Port’s willingness to partner with tenants to meet their goals, and to undertake innovative tenancy and financing arrangements have encouraged economic growth across Hamilton’s Port lands.
In Fluke’s case, HPA created a 10-year lease arrangement on a warehouse facility wherein the company’s leased footprint can expand along with its business volume. The well-known trucking company started out with less than 100,000 square feet of space in 2011, and has since expanded to occupy more than 300,000 square feet. “Our partnership with Fluke is a win-win, because as the company succeeds, so do we,” said Ian Hamilton, HPA’s Vice President of Business Development and Real Estate.
HPA also works to develop innovative financing arrangements that cultivate long-term, strategic tenancies that fit well with the port’s cargo mix.
This was the case when HPA partnered with one of its existing tenants, Sylvite Agri-Services, when the company sought to expand. HPA worked closely with Sylvite to facilitate and expedite the construction of two new 10,000 tonnes fertilizer storage tanks on Pier 12. HPA offered an innovative financing arrangement, and negotiated with other Port tenants to free up additional space. Sylvite Vice-President Ted Haggert noted that “HPA’s ‘can-do’ approach was key to enabling Sylvite to start construction early enough to meet its spring deadline.”
In the past five years, HPA has inked 100 new contracts, worth $80 million, with significant attention to current tenants. “Almost 50 per cent of our growth is coming from existing customers and we expect this trend to continue,” said Ian Hamilton. Sylvite’s expansion is a prime example of the care HPA takes to help its tenants grow and expand in their Port locations.
“Keeping existing businesses in Hamilton in an optimal location where they can grow and thrive is a key focus,” says the City of Hamilton’s Director of Economic Development, Neil Everson. “We dedicate significant resources to retaining long time local businesses growing in the city. The Port plays a key role in helping us accomplish this.”