Council this week waved the starter’s green flag on the community’s latest industrial space development.
A year ago Solterra Acquisition Corp. purchased 20 acres of municipally owned land in the town’s business park. On Tuesday (Aug. 20), the Vancouver-based company’s drawings for approximately half of the $8 million property were on council’s table.
“It is intended to be a first phase,” the district’s director of planning Chris Bishop told council.
Plans for the west half of the lot located at the Commercial Place and Queens Way intersection, include four buildings, 30 bicycle parking spots and 203 vehicle parking stalls. The buildings will reflect Squamish’s industrial heritage, Bishop said.
To draw attention to the parcel, the owner proposes to build an industrial water tower, based on historic designs that would have served Squamish’s railway, he said. The 17.6-metre-tall structure would be constructed from wood and metal, with the “Sea-to-Sky Business Park” written on top.
Rain gardens are intended to be a part of the landscaping, Bishop said.
Businesses that could move into the new development would be similar to those currently neighbouring the property, such as construction supply industries and light manufacturing.
“It is not intended to replace commercial,” Bishop said. “It is intended to be a very different market.”
Coun. Susan Chapelle asked whether the project means more fitness centres in town, to which Bishop answered the zoning allows for those types of companies. Coun. Ron Sander said he would like to have seen electric vehicle charging stations included in the drafts.
In June, Solterra’s vice president Mike Bosa said the “For Sale” signs would go up once the company had preliminary approval from the district. With permits in place, Solterra would actively look for tenants for the 1,450-square-foot units.
“We haven’t sought out large tenants yet, but with the size of the property, we are keen to try and accommodate any business which would fit with the business park,” Bosa wrote in an email to The Chief.