ANTIGONISH: Century Nissan is coming to Antigonish.

The car dealership will be located in the area of Beech Hill Road and was announced as the first tenant in a new business development park.

East Gate Ridge, the 25-acre business park located on the stretch of land between the old and new Highway 104 at Exit 33, has the potential to accommodate nine tenants and is being developed by local businessman Ron MacGillivray.

“How it came about is Ron was looking for a piece of land to build the Nissan dealership on and this piece of land became available,” John MacRae, the general manager of the new dealership told The Reporter on February 14. “All that’s needed for the dealership is three-acres. We needed a place to put the Nissan dealership first and then we decided to develop the complete piece of land and make it available for other businesses.”

Construction on the dealership is scheduled to begin after the winter, with a view to open in the fall.

Until the dealership opens, MacRae said he’ll be dealing with other clients to see how much interest there is to fill the other eight lots.

One of the advantages to the property is its elevation allowing for maximum visibility.

“We felt that there are few locations like this in Antigonish,” he said. “With the new highway being constructed a few years ago, a lot of these towns need property out close to the highway like fast food and service stations. The road itself, being moved to where it is now is another reason why we felt the town needed a development like this.”

East Gate Ridge will be constructed similar to Dartmouth Crossing; each lot will be sitting on its own pad, stacking up the hill.

“The municipality has been very keen on something like this; this is needed, because our downtown can’t really be expanded in any way, what’s there is there,” MacRae said. “Most of the population that considers Antigonish as a service centre are from east of Antigonish. This is the first exit going into Antigonish from the east and it will take into account people from Guysborough, Havre Boucher, Pomquet, St. Andrew’s, Tracadie, and all those areas.”

Antigonish is halfway between Sydney and Halifax, has 11,000 cars passing by daily and Exit 33 has become one of the busiest exits on Highway 104, all factors that play into and benefit the location for East Gate Ridge.