A very unusual offering. 500 acres of mixed farmland and woods including 2700' on Joe's Lake. The main farm has been operating as a dairy farm since the 1700s in the same family, and when ceased being a dairy operation the owner has upgraded and refurbished the entire 24,000 sq. ft. of barns as well as the home, a substantial and modernized building of 28' x 60' with high tech heating systems, and thoroughly modernized interior. The existing farm acres comprise about 115 acres of good quality grass, which is baled every year, with an operating potential of 13,500 square bales, and is only about 7 years since being regularly limed etc. The land is bracketed by housing developments and obviously has a potential for mixed use, including beef cattle, wood sales, actual truck garden food production, and land sales. The property throws off a gross cash flow of about $40,000/year in storage fees for vehicles, boats and trailers. The municipality is watching the accelerated housing, and concerned that septic density will begin to impinge on private land water wells. It is apparent that once home densities reach a critical level that municipal extension of sewage lines and public water systems will require speedy construction. In the mean time, given slowing international trade and the growing reality of food shortages, Nova Scotia's relatively low levels of food production, (24%) various agricultural investments should be able to demonstrate substantial returns. A 500 acre contiguous parcel of underdeveloped forest and farmland in this area has to be an interesting property and provides an unusual breadth of opportunities. The fact that Joe's Lake is at the end of this land provides an even broader potential.
The rear of the property has about 13 acres on Joe’s Lake (about a 1.25 kilometer body of water), reachable using the existing bridge on the property across the brook about 2/3 the distance from the King’s Road front of the property.
A Nutrient Management Plan was completed for the farm land for 2012 – 2014. The research includes an analysis of the chemistry of the soils, divided amongst the various separate 11 or 12 fields. They include micronutrient deficiency symptoms; P & K Soil Test graphs; pH soil test graphs, Lime, Wood Ash, N-Viro plans; Crop rotation recommendations (hay only); Nutrient Management; Fertilizer Plan; Lab Analysis; and Field Nutrient Balance Sheets.
Past results when there was regular fertilizer treatments suggest an overall capacity of over 775 large round bales for hay. This yield, utilizing the current Management Plan, is believed to be improvable. More to the point possibly, the fundamental agronomy work has been done and is current, so that a farming interested buyer could approach the organization who did the analysis with likely easily answered questions about alternate crop plantings.
There is undetermined value in the mixture of hardwood and softwood forest currently covering approximately 385 acres. A wood cruiser could, if necessary, provide an estmated value of this asset.
- The farm once produced “acres” of vegetables, and when one considers the very real prospect of drastically decreasing North American vegetable produce levels, the possibility of serious economic instability contributing to inflationary costs for food, the serious possibility of less regular truck deliveries etc. etc., usage of a significant acreage for ‘vegetable truck farming’ could be promising. The Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture has a broad level of information available to new and established farmers, with an emphasis on new agricultural projects, for which assisted financing may be available. The extensive material made available to the present owner by LP Consulting of Newport NS (The Nutrient Management Plan 2012 – 2014), suggests sources (including LP Consulting) for constructing plans for improving and amending soil chemistry, crops and production estimates, and would likely respond positively to questions regarding alternate farming plans, specifically vegetable farming – given the increasing visibility of potential supply short falls. The Provincial Agricultural division would likely be enthusiastic about any such plan, and possibly offer financial and planning assistance.
- Beef cattle farming, with a very significant number of head likely supportable with grazing and silage production, not to speak of under-cover barn protection and open or closed stalls, represents a potential usage, in addition to vegetables.
- Horse farm – suggesting a possible stud farm, boarding and perhaps training, with riding and other equine related activities. There are literally miles of trails, woods roads, logging roads that could keep the most enthusiastic rider happy. Using the very large enclosed areas for horses should be relatively simple.
- Reintroduction of a substantial dairy operation, but the acquisition of an adequate ‘Quota’ is highly doubtful. The present market for Quota suggests that as much as 500 kilos of Quota are being sought in the market, with as little as zero kilos for sale. There are indications that the Quota System is under review in Nova Scotia so the foundation for considering a dairy operation may be considerably changed.
- Chicken farming, using part of the very extensive barn resources, and applying the chicken manure to the soils for very significant improvement of soil chemistry.
- The growing and sale of high quality hay. This would be in conjunction with usage of the extensive barn space – such as is presently done – with vehicle storage being a surprisingly productive business, and/or chicken or duck, geese, or other animal farming.
- Other agricultural usages might include sylvan culture of specialty fast growing trees for biomass energy production.
- Varying usages including more than one suggested above in combination or separately as stand-alone businesses.
The Farm House:
Older, has been thoroughly refurbished, including being raised, a concrete basement installed, steel I beams fitted under the ground first floor, new wiring, new plumbing, windows and has two bathrooms. A very high end electric closed circuit hot water furnace has been added, and the comfortable main floor of the house has both ceramic tile and wood flooring. The kitchen is a traditional warm and comfortable room with plenty of space. The basement is very large and could be developed into a very nice separate apartment, having in floor heating - also plenty of room for additional bedrooms. The adjoining one room cottage has a modern bathroom, small kitchen and is thoroughly insulated.
Of varying sizes and age (the oldest having been built in 1970), they all have been extensively refurbished, retro fitted with new windows, roofs; and steel sheathing. There is a very large heated garage with two high and wide rising doors; a tar-mac’ed angular drive up to the large door of the hay loft, and both ends of this 195 x 38 foot building having newly constructed ends. There is a water lead from the spring fed pond up the hill and analysis suggests very high quality water.
The remaining buildings include two 40 x 100 pole barns, with concrete flooring, a 79 x 38 building with double height walls and roof, and an additional double height building (40 x 100). The 40 x 100 foot building to the side and rear has a new concrete floor installed to the concrete side walls of the original structure, and is totally enclosed with a new roofing structure. The aggregate under cover area, including the hay loft with its extensively rebuilt and heavily reinforced flooring is over 24,000 square feet, compactly laid out, and dry. As a result, the barns are packed with boats, mobile homes and beautiful vehicles, on a monthly rate that creates a very useful income stream. In fact, the owner may build another barn due to the demand for space.
OTHER LAND AVAILABLE
The location of this exemplary property suggests a variety of usages that would produce an on-going cash return.
Being as close to Sydney as it is emphasizes the potential for land development, either in conjunction with the unusually large well
maintained barns for one of several business ventures, or a variety of other possibilities. There would appear to be potential for more attractive variable acreage housing plans utilizing the gently sloping hill to provide views and privacy. The lake side of the hill would provide more private acreage, and no traffic sounds. A multi-stage development plan could encompass most of the acres, and include waterfront lots on Joe’s Lake, utilizing the barns separately, continuing the storage activities, or developing farming projects.
MORE ON LAND DEVELOPMENT:
There being at least two housing developments in various stages of completion and planning, (see aerial photos) on either side of the property, it is significant to note that the most recently announced plan for the extension of one of the developments, states that lots of approximately one and a half to two acres – without water and septic – will be priced in the region of $60,000. The mainly dry land of the property we are presenting, rising gradually from King’s Road, could command a complex plan of lots with varying acreages and settings. This kind of approach would countenance a development plan in stages all the way to the acreage on Joe’s Lake.
The areas of Howie Centre and Sydney River have, in recent years, experienced healthy growth in population. That growth is expected to continue as municipal authorities are exploring their options for expanding municipal services such as water and sewage. Should this trend continue, which is likely, longer term plans for the property could see significant enhancement of value by including residential devloping as part of estate planning upon retirement from agricultural pursuits.
The combination of location, agricultural potential, and the development applicability and other business concepts suggest that this offering represents a very compelling potential. One should add that in periods of economic instability, the ownership of valuable real estate is a means recognized over the centuries for preserving assets – (and increasingly today). This offering meets many desirable factors in this current period of prospective instability, both as a hard asset in a country with a very substantial resource based currency, and as a property with earning and food production potential. Imagination and good business sense can work wonders.
Location is a five minute drive from Sydney River which offers major shopping amenities - a shopping centre, grocery stores and other restaurants, stores, and halls. The 125 Freeway is also about five minutes away. The property is near to other urban areas including North Sydney and Sydney - highway system connects these areas for easy travel.
Sydney River has three public schools: Sydney River Elementary, Malcolm Munroe Jr. High and Riverview Rural High School.
(For area photos and additional area information, please see "TOURS WITH TOM" on the ABOUT CAPE BRETON PAGE.)
Appointment required - please call Tom @ 866-325-1001
| Area Links:
- Sydney River on Facebook
Area businesses and residents
- Cape Breton Farmer's Market in Sydney River on Facebook
Large, organized market with multiple vendors and a wide variety of products for sale from produce to spices and more.
- The Newfoundland Ferry Terminal
- A 40 minute drive from the property.
- Mira River Provincial Park
Good photos, including aerials of the Mira.
- Sydney Web Site
City of Sydney web site with historical and present day info. Very heavy on business promotion and capturing the tourist dollar, but it's a start on learning about the city - especially what services and purchases are available. d out and what is there is worth the look.
- . JA Douglas McCurdy International Sydney Airport
This airport is just a 30 minute drive from the property.
- Ben Eoin (wiki)
Info about the Ben Eion resort area with golf course, marina, skiing and park, all located about 5 KMfrom the property.
- The Lakes Golf Club
One of Cape Bretons premier golf destination overlooking the beautiful Bras d'Or Lakes in Ben Eoin Nova Scotia. With rolling hills, crashing streams and dramatic elevation changes The Lakes engages you in unique experiences that far transcends the ordinary.