The executive board of Local 793 has approved the purchase of a 6.14-acre parcel of property next to the union’s head office in Oakville.

The board voted unanimously to approve the purchase for $7.1 million at a meeting May 5.

The deal officially closes June 15.

The property is at 2201 Speers Rd and is adjacent to the east border of the union’s current property at 2245 Speers Rd.

There is a single-storey, 27,000-square foot building on the property.

“The purchase of this property is an investment in the future of our union,” said Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher. “The property came up for sale and it made sense for us to purchase it because Local 793 is growing and in need of more space.”

Gallagher said the union will now be able to build a new residence on the property for students training at the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO) at head office.

In the future, he said, the union might also consider adding additional office space on the property.

Gallagher said the property came up for sale in March and he raised the idea of purchasing it with the executive board.

“With the growth of our union, I felt it was the right move to make,” said Gallagher. “
“The officers and I intend to keep growing this union and we have taken another step in the right direction by purchasing the property.”

The property was purchased from Procor Ltd., a company that manages conventional and special purpose rail tank and freight cars.

There were two other purchase offers on the table and the offer from Local 793 was selected.

Local 793 president Joe Redshaw said the local had to make a serious offer or risk losing the land. The local had CBRE Ltd., a real estate brokerage and transaction advisory firm, determine if the asking price for the property was within reason.

“If we didn’t purchase this property, we’d be locked into the approximately 13 acres that we presently own,” said Redshaw. “This purchase will allow us to grow our union.”

Redshaw said the new residence planned for the property will enable students at the OETIO to reside at one location and not have to seek accommodation in hotels around the area.

“It certainly will be good for students to be housed in one location in one residence,” he said. “Apprentices won’t be required to commute back and forth to their training.”

Procor will continue to lease half the building on the property until December.

The purchase of the building will be internally financed and the union will not have to borrow any money.

With the new property, the union will own close to 20 acres at the site in Oakville.