Article reposted from District of Squamish News.
SQUAMISH, B.C. – At the northern tip of Howe Sound, the Squamish oceanfront peninsula is poised to take its highly anticipated position as the crown jewel of this picturesque community. In a town surrounded by natural jewels, that is a tall order. Surrounded on all sides by dramatic mountain views, the oceanfront lands have been sold, with a closing date of February 3, 2016, and the ground work is set to realize Squamish’s vision of a multi-use ocean-side community. Development of the oceanfront will commence this year with the main peninsula road followed by initial work on the oceanfront park.
“This is a monumental milestone for our community and signifies the beginning of a new chapter in the realization of a community dream,” says District of Squamish Mayor Patricia Heintzman. “Through all the chapters of this epic tale, there are so many people who were instrumental in getting us to today. But this dream started with the community’s vision, and that vision has been the driving force, keeping the dream alive and keeping us focused on the end goal since 2004.”
The land has been sold to Newport Beach Developments Limited Partnership, a partnership between local development company Bethel Lands Corporation, and Texas-headquartered Matthews Southwest whose roots began as a family business in Ontario. The lands have been exchanged for a complete package which includes $15 million in cash, plus construction of the oceanfront park estimated conservatively at $10 million, a wind sports beach, two boat launch areas, a sailing centre, a waterfront public walkway on the entire perimeter, a lands’ end monument, community open space, pedestrian and greenway connections, and a public art contribution of $150,000.
The community-derived sub area plan envisions mixed-use development on the peninsula that will aim to provide total direct employment of more than 2,300 jobs at build out. In addition to the public recreation areas, the area envisions opportunities for light marine industry, an educational complex, as well as commercial, retail and restaurant space, setting it apart from purely residential developments.
“The purchase of the Squamish oceanfront lands begins a new chapter for residents; one that Newport Beach Developments is honoured to be a part of,” says Michael Hutchison of Newport Beach Developments. “We are eager to begin this unique opportunity of constructing a development that will impact the community of Squamish in a monumental way. Working together with community groups, local trades and business, we will achieve the community’s vision for a place where people work, live and play in the heart of the Sea to Sky corridor.”
Investment required for flood protection of the peninsula and final contamination remediation add to the value provided by the developer. The complete build-out of the oceanfront sub area plan is estimated to take 20 years. The oceanfront park will be delivered as an initial priority, which will be completed prior to the developer moving forward with occupation of any residential property.
“I am absolutely inspired and energized by the opportunities that are knocking on our door now that development is set to begin,” continues Heintzman. “We will maintain a close working relationship with the team at Newport Beach Developments, and the community can look forward to project updates and engagement opportunities from their team as plans progress.”
View the Oceanfront Marketing Video which provides an overview of the Sub Area Plan. The Sub Area Plan itself can also be viewed online.
About the Squamish Oceanfront Lands
At the northern tip of Howe Sound sits 59 acres of former industrial land, plus 44 adjacent acres of submerged water lots, formerly owned by the Squamish Oceanfront Development Corporation (SODC), a wholly owned corporation of the District of Squamish. This land, extending from Downtown Squamish, forms a peninsula fronting Howe Sound, the Mamquam Blind Channel and the Cattermole Slough. With its ability to drive economic revitalization and reconnect the community to the water, this land represents a profound redevelopment opportunity unparalleled anywhere in the region.
About Newport Beach Developments Limited Partnership
Newport Beach Developments Ltd. represents a partnership between Squamish development company Bethel Lands Corporation (Bethel), and Texas-headquartered Matthews Southwest (MSW). MSW is a developer whose roots began as a family business in Ontario, is now involved in projects in Canada, the USA and Mexico, and headquartered in Lewisville, Texas. With offices in Dallas, Calgary, and Mississauga, Ontario, MSW has extensive experience in the redevelopment of brownfield sites including Dallas’ South Side Development, and the recent completion of the $1.4 billion Bow development in Calgary.
Bethel is a Squamish-based development company who has been the principal behind a number of mid-sized projects in the Sea to Sky Corridor over the past decade. Such projects include: Amblepath subdivision, Quest University Residences; Cornerstone Professional Building; Crumpit Woods subdivision; Baxter Creek subdivision (Whistler); and the Sea to Sky Gondola.