The Squamish Oceanfront Development Corp. (SODC) has selected a real estate agent to market the community’s prize parcel of waterfront property, but names aren’t being released just yet.
Detailed contract language is being ironed out, Bill McNeney, the SODC’s chair on Tuesday (June 12).
“We are pretty happy with not only the level, but the quality of what was put together,” McNeney said, noting he anticipates the announcement in the next couple of weeks.
In March, the SODC was given orders by the District of Squamish to take the 64 acres to market. The wholly owned municipal subsidiary sent out letters to 14 real estate groups. On April 19, seven firms rolled into town for a site meeting, McNeney told councillors at the SODC’s annual general meeting this week. Three days later, the corporation had six proposals on its table.
“We used an advisory panel, as well as a consultant to vet the process,” McNeney said.
The panel consists of Andrew Voysey and Paul Woodward, business partners who have 40 years’ experience in acquisition, financing and construction of mixed-use development projects. Andrew Booth, general manager of Stemcell Technologies, and Gary Morrison, who financed Intrawest Corp.’s real estate projects while with Ernst and Young and has helped multiple B.C. government agencies establish public-private partnerships, also sit on the panel. A new addition is Toby Baker, the Squamish Nation’s former senior operating officer. The consultant was Brook Pooni Associates Inc.
“The agreement for the one that was selected was fairly unanimous,” McNeney said.
In 2011, the corporation was over its approximate $1.27 million budget by $148,396. This was a result of the land rezoning application, which was originally budgeted for later in the project, McNeney said. The SODC pushed it forward and the project received first and second reading last October.
The SODC has recently secured a couple of key items, McNeney said. In May, the corporation initiated a study on the quality of material that could be dredged from the Mamquam Blind Channel. The review, funded by a $42,000 grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund, established that the sampled sediments met the applicable regulatory standards. That allows the corporation to use dredged material for the proposed park’s construction, McNeney said.
“That was big,” he noted.
Construction on the 7.53-acre park was originally scheduled to start in the summer of 2011. However, the project was delayed by the environmental assessment permitting process and, more recently, a shift in focus onto construction of the property.
“All of the spade work has kind of been done. That was kind of the story of 2011,” McNeney said.