The proposed Wharton Street Redevelopment Project has attracted the attention of some out-of-town developers.

Wharton Street plan attracts interest

Plans to revitalize downtown Summerland through the Wharton Street Redevelopment Plan remain viable, but could undergo changes that may not need the stamp of public approval.

  • Sep. 14, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Plans to revitalize downtown Summerland through the Wharton Street Redevelopment Plan remain viable, but could undergo changes that may not need the stamp of public approval.

Manager of Development Services Ian McIntosh said the district remains in discussion with a group of out-of-town investors, who have shown interest in developing the site.

By way of background, the Wharton Street Redevelopment Plan calls for the construction of a seven-storey, multi-use building in the heart of the downtown core.

The building as currently proposed seeks to accomplish two goals — increase residential density in the downtown core and expand public amenities in improving library and museum space. But the project — which featured a complex land sale agreement between the district and the private developer, Mike Rink of New Futures Development Group, and several public hearings — became the victim of the financial crisis that began in 2008.

The plan formally expired on Jan. 15 of this year, when Rink let that deadline to purchase the land from the district pass.

But the project has remained on the radar screen of the development community. At least two groups expressed interest to the district during the late spring of this year and one of them — McIntosh refused to disclose its identity, citing municipal legislation concerning the sale of public lands — actually signed a memorandum of understanding to secure exclusive negotiations rights for a period of 90 days.  About half of this period remains.

While McIntosh called the negotiations thus far “very promising,” his comments also suggested that an eventual agreement might well feature changes to the actual project.

“They (the group) are looking to make some adjustments to the plan,” he said.

While McIntosh refused to answer specific questions about the nature of the requested changes, he noted that the interested parties wants to make the project “more economically feasible.”

One possible interpretation: the developers wish to scale back some or all elements of the project including the public components to make it fit current market conditions.

This said, the district has some specific requirements as well. “Our objections are still the same,” said Don DeGagne, municipal administrator June 1 in the online edition of the Review. “We need to get certain public facilities (library and museum). That will be part of any deal.”

And if there is a deal that features changes to the components of the project, the public may not get chance to comment.

If specific design elements change, but not to the degree that the requested changes no longer conform to the established zoning for the site established several years before the previous developer pulled out, the district will not be obliged to ask for public input. A formal public process will  be necessary, if significant changes are necessary.

McIntosh said it is too early to tell, which way this issue will go.

The public, however, will have a chance to comment on the land sale that would accompany the project if it gains a new lease on life.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Boil water notice lifted for some residents on the west side of Okanagan Lake

Two-hundred and seventy property owners in the Westshoe Estates Subdivision can now safely drink their water again

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

ELECTION 2019: Here are the results from our 12 B.C. races to watch

Incumbents mostly won our 12 key races, but there were a few upsets too

Okanagan inmate charged in Princeton kidnapping gets second trial extension

Afshin Maleki Ighani said he was unprepared for trial due to issues around a full disclosure package

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

Saanich Gulf-Islands’s Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

The federal Green party leader talks possibility of running as MP without being leader

Hundreds attend first annual climate and food conference in Kelowna

Over 25 industry experts spoke at the two-day event

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

South Okanagan man charged following armed standoff gets bail

Information on the proceedings is limited due to publication ban

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Behind the blue and white Carnival clown mask

Toshie Okada is named October’s Respect Works Here Community Champion

Most Read