The ‘for-sale’ sign advertising the city-owned former Terrace Co-op property along Greig Avenue to potential buyers has been taken down, but don’t expect to see a development project anytime soon.
The city invited purchase and development proposals for the 2.78 acre Co-op property and the 15.5 acres along Keith, the eastern a portion of which is bounded by Kenney Ave., last fall, setting a date of Nov. 30, 2018 for submissions.
That deadline was extended to March 31 and a ‘for-sale’ sign put up earlier this year, but the city says it received no proposals.
With the city’s economic development manager Danielle Myles Wilson leaving for a new position as Port Edward’s new chief administrative officer this September, the city says they’re focusing on more paramount projects until they find a suitable replacement.
“It’s not like [the Co-op lands] have been a barn burner and people have been pounding on the door. It seemed like in the meantime, let’s focus on the more urgent tasks and we won’t worry about the longer-term projects,” a city spokesperson says.
The renewed sales effort to find a suitable development could be discussed with council this fall, a search that began in 2005 when the city bought the entire former Terrace Co-op property of approximately 4.5 acres for $1 million, a move heavily criticized at the time because it meant forgoing annual property taxes. The property is zoned as light industrial.
The brownfield site was the former location of a shopping complex with a food store, hardware store, gas bar and more before it fell victim to a sudden decline in the region’s forest economy in the late 1990s.
The city told the Terrace Standard earlier this year that they were looking for proposals to build a combination commercial and residential development for the Co-op property, and mixed-use commercial development along Keith Ave. There was hope that the LNG Canada facility in Kitimat would spark developer interests, as Terrace is considered to be the service hub for northwest B.C.
Hotel developer Superior Lodging had agreed in 2013 to buy the 2.8 parcel along Greig Ave. between Emerson and Kalum for $877,500 pending the city receiving an environmental clean bill of health but when that was received from the province in June, the company exercised an escape clause in the sales contract.
The city has reserved a lot on the eastern end of the Co-op property for public use and has so far committed itself to providing a portion of that lot for an eventual downtown museum.
— with files from Rod Link