The Nelson Landing housing development project was the subject of much public debate and a complex rezoning process in 2015 and 2016.
Now, with no construction started, it’s for sale for $4 million.
The proposed development that would run along the lakeshore from the old Kootenay Forest Products dock toward Red Sands beach has been on hold since the spring of 2016.
The developer, Storm Mountain Developments, wants to sell the property outright or in smaller packages.
“It is twin tracked,” said the company’s CEO Allard Ockeloen in an interview with the Star. “Our realtor has the mandate to sell all of it but the other track is that if he can’t generate the interest for all of it, we are growing more excited about doing something with local teams, builders, developers, investors who may have some vision to help realize their vision versus just ours.”
Nelson Landing was a proposed mixed commercial-residential development of 265 housing units, starting at $529,000 for a two-bedroom unit. The development was planned to be phased in over 10-to-20 years.
In 2015, the developer and the city went through an elaborate planning and rezoning process for the property. Late that year the company began pre-selling units for the first phase of eight units, but according to the company there were not enough pre-sales to justify breaking ground.
The company had already built a retaining wall to hold a waterfront pathway, which it had agreed to provide for public use.
Ockeloen said one possibility in the new plan would be to sell individual builder lots for multi-family dwellings.
“They would be independent, but we could service the properties, build the roads, and give the roads to the municipality.”
He said builders could take on smaller parcels and choose what to build, within the existing zoning and the terms of Nelson’s Official Community Plan.
Mayor Deb Kozak said this announcement of the sale is a surprise.
“Although it is somewhat disappointing,” she told the Star, “I am reassured by the way they have proposed this to possible buyers, that they are still interested in what the outcome of this project might look like, and they are looking, if need be, to piece it out.
“We have, and the community has, put in a lot of energy in visioning for this piece of the waterfront, so there has been extensive work done, so a lot of the groundwork is completed, and the developer had extensive meetings with the public, so it is ready to roll.”
One of the points of contention in public discussion of the project was the status of Red Sands beach, which is on part of the property owned by Ockeloen’s company. But during discussions with the city in 2015, the company said it would remain a public park.
Ockeleon told the Star that condition would remain regardless of a sale because it’s a covenant attached to the land, and the same goes for a promised payment to the city of $500 per unit, as a contribution to the city’s affordable housing fund.