The site of a failed condo development next to the Chahko Mika Mall in Nelson has new owners.
The former Kutenai Landing property was on the market for one year and one week before it sold Tuesday for $1.9 million, less than the asking price of $2.395 million. Ron Palmer of Kelowna’s Syber Realty said the buyer is a holding company known as Sun 3 Holdings Inc.
The 2.74-acre property has a storied past. Formerly a yard for highways contractor VSA, the land was acquired by a local consortium, including former mayor Dave Elliott, who paid $1.1 million in late 2001 to prevent a standalone Walmart from being built there.
They then sold the property to Kamloops developer Mike Rink, whose New Future Group proposed Kutenai Landing, a residential complex that won city approval but faced much local opposition.
Slow sales and the developer’s other financial problems killed the project. Rink lost control of the site to Paradigm Financial of Kelowna and an on-site sales office was removed in 2012. Paradigm hired New Town Services of Kelowna to find a way to do something with the land.
Shortly after the property was placed on the market last year, Keith Funk of New Town told the Star the project had undergone two conceptual designs for mixed use projects, but in each case the level of remediation needed on the land inflated development costs to the point where investors lost interest.
New Town then sought a developer for the site willing to buy the land from Paradigm. Syber Realty handled the transaction and added a sticker to an old promotional sign on the site indicating it was a “court ordered sale.”
The online listing stated: “The vendor has undertaken extensive investigation with the assistance of a private planning firm with respect to alternate uses for the site including a combination of potential phased townhomes plus commercial/retail space. The city has participated in this process and has been generally supportive.”
City manager Kevin Cormack confirmed at the time that they had been in discussions with NewTown about a project for the site, “likely quite a bit different from the original one.”
The initial asking price was slightly less than $3.5 million but was reduced at some point this year by over $1.1 million. The sale price was close to the assessed value of $1.86 million.
(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story erroneously stated that the property was formerly owned by VSA. In fact, it was owned by the BC Buildings Corporation prior to its sale to a local consortium.)