Sidney, B.C.; On Tuesday, October 10th, Town of Sidney Council discussed several options associated with the sale of the current Fire Hall site, located at 9837 Third Street. Sale proceeds from this site are a key funding source for the new Community Safety Building (CSB), which is currently under construction on a site south of the Mary Winspear Centre. After considerable deliberation, Council determined that, given the need to reduce the impact of the recent cost escalation of the CSB project, the most prudent approach is to consider selling both the Fire Hall site and the adjoining parking lot site to the south (9821 Third Street). In making this decision, however, Council made it clear that the sale and development of the parking lot land would be conditional upon the purchaser providing, as part of any future development, a minimum of 30 Town controlled, public parking spaces to make up for the loss of the existing parking.
Council’s decision to consider selling both sites is based on the desire to minimize the borrowing costs associated with the CSB. In addition, redevelopment of both sites will add not only to the tax base, but also to downtown revitalization efforts.
Combined, the two downtown sites are approximately 42,500 square feet in area. The properties in question are both zoned C1 (Downtown Commercial), which permits mixed-use commercial (ground floor) / residential developments of potentially between four and six stories in height.
Council has instructed staff to begin the process of preparing a Request for Expressions of Interest (EOI) document, with the intent of soliciting interest and proposal submissions from the development community regarding the potential purchase and redevelopment of these parcels. The EOI is expected to be issued by mid to late November, 2017 with a potential closing date in late January, 2018. It is anticipated that submissions will be evaluated on not just the net proceeds, but on the merits of the associated development proposals and their compatibility with the Town’s Downtown/Waterfront Local Area Plan and other strategic goals.