Sidney, B.C.; The Town of Sidney recently reached an agreement in principle with developers Fraser McColl and Dan Robbins for the purchase of the Fire Hall property at 9837 Third Street and 2477 Sidney Avenue and the adjoining parking lot at 9821 Third Street. The successful proponents went through an extensive tender process, along with other qualified developers interested in purchasing the two parcels and redeveloping them based upon the Town’s current Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning designations (mixed-use commercial/residential).
The winning submission includes a purchase price of $9 million for the two properties, with the potential to increase that amount should Council approve additional square footage, up to the maximum floor area ratio (FAR) permitted under the current zoning.
The Fire Hall site and parking lot parcels are located in a downtown block that has the potential to allow up to six storeys mid-block, as identified in the OCP. The Downtown Local Area Plan (LAP) has long identified these lands for a higher and better use; this is one of the factors which led to the relocation of the Fire Hall. Also, as part of the redevelopment of the lands, at least 30 parking stalls must be maintained for public use.
Mayor Steve Price stated; “The Town received several excellent submissions and we thank everyone who took the time and effort to be a part of this process. In the end, Council feels we have made a well-researched, balanced choice that will be positive for the community while providing the intended funds required to offset the cost of building the new Community Safety Building.”
McColl and Robbins are responsible for a number of unique developments locally in Victoria and have a long history of proven success in delivering exceptionally high-quality projects. The objective of their Sidney proposal is for a mixed-use development in line with Sidney’s Official Community Plan.
Sidney Council has always included the sale of the Fire Hall as a means to partially offset the cost of the new Community Safety Building. The parking lot parcel was added to the equation when it became evident that the hot real estate market was going to cause cost overruns for the CSB. Fortunately, this same real estate market has resulted in a favourable selling price for these prime Town parcels. By leveraging the adjacent parking lot, the Town can keep the borrowing associated with the CSB to the earlier projections, and likely at the lower end of those projections.
It is important to note that the development of the site must still go through the regular planning and Council approval process, with the appropriate public notifications according to the Town’s guidelines, and that no OCP or Zoning amendments will be involved.