Development company Solterra is keeping its cards close to the vest, but one thing is a sure bet — it's working on plans to build what company officials say will be two major Squamish attractions.
Solterra is ironing out pre-leases for its 20 acres in the Squamish Business Park, company vice president Mike Bosa said on Tuesday (Jan. 28). Officials are talking with a number of groups that reflect what Squamish is about, he said. Among the discussion are plans to build an attraction that fits in with the community's “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada” theme, Bosa said.
“We are working on something in the business park that would be huge for Squamish,” he said.
At the same time, Solterra is looking to transform a key property along Cleveland Avenue. With the aid of District of Squamish officials, Bosa noted Solterra is considering temporary changes to the site of the former PacWest building, which is now vacant.
“We are working on something that is quite exciting,” he said. “What we want to do is something that would be a huge benefit to downtown.”
The downtown project must be worked through with the municipality, Bosa said. He anticipates an announcement next month.
Solterra aims to start construction on the project in the business park this spring. Bosa wants to ensure the development fills in amenity gaps that are currently preventing some larger businesses from moving to town, he said.
“It's the bigger picture. Those are the questions that come up with users,” he said.
This month Solterra restarted construction on its downtown residential project, Streams, beside the Squamish Senior Centre on Third Avenue. The company is completing work on 16 homes. This summer, it's also set to begin construction on Nature's Gate, a 50- townhome development north of the Rockcliff building along Eaglewind Boulevard.
“We do have confidence in the Squamish market,” Bosa said.
Solterra has approached the district with a number of concepts for various sites, district spokesperson Christina Moore wrote to The Chief. Discussions are “very preliminary,” she noted. There is no application currently submitted for development work at the old PacWest site, Moore noted.
“The district is not in discussions with Solterra regarding them donating their PacWest building to the district,” she stated.