NewsNow Niagara e-edition: August 16 2018  – View Interactive PDF

Fifth Wheel sold, to close

Staff told last week gas bar, restaurant to close by month’s end, truck wash to stay open

By Mike Williscraft
NewsNow

A piece of Grimsby history has been sold, with part of the facility to close.

Fifth Wheel Truck Stop restaurant will close, along with the gas bar. At this point, plans call for the Blue Beacon Truck Wash to remain open.

“It will be the end of an era,” said Fifth Wheel general manager John Dunstall.

“There will be a lot of people who will miss this place.”

About 25 people will find themselves out of work when the doors close.

“In our heyday, we had 100 or more employees – back in the 80s and 90s,” said Dunstall.

The site was the location of the storied Hunt Club, which was sold to Fifth Wheel in 1988.

Staff say they were told new owner Fred Losani of Losani Homes plans to develop the area with residential.

“I haven’t heard anything official regarding sale/closure of 5th Wheel but it has been rumoured for years,” said Mayor Bob Bentley.

“Job losses of any kind are unfortunate but this area was studied extensively during the Winston Road/Official Plan review and is currently designated a “major intensification area” including mixed use/residential type development.”

Bentley was also quick to note, as he has on many occassions in recent years, that any development of waterfront will include the Town retaining control for its ongoing development of a waterfront trail.

“Regardless of who/what the development might be, we will get the waterfront for sure and help complete another large section of our waterfront trail plan,” said Bentley.

The original Hunt Club property was estimated to be 7.2 acres while a second parcel as part of the package is about eight acres.

Calls and email to Fifth Wheel president Jim Warren were not returned prior to press time.

Various sales prices were rumoured but none could be confirmed.

Asked if town council may consider waiving building height restrictions on this building project or any other proposed, Bentley said the Town’s zoning bylaws will dictate plans, adding increased height and increased potential tax dollars are not a determining factor in planning complete communities.

“The Official Plan and zoning bylaws are intended to guide and control planning decisions based on good planning principles,” said Bentley.

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