The Town of Qualicum Beach has agreed to sell an acre of land downtown to Naked Naturals Whole Foods Ltd, for commercial and residential purposes.
After a four-month public procurement process to explore the best obtainable value from applicants, the town decided to sell a section of the land of the former ‘Bus Garage’ property, located between the intersections of Fern Road West, Memorial Avanue and Fourth Avenue West, for $2.75M.
A release indicated town council endorsed the Naked Naturals proposal because it offered the best financial value while allowing the town to retain more than one acre of land, 62 per cent of the property, for the development of public amenities such as a public square, pavilion, theatre or amphitheatre; and also parking space.
An agreement to sell was signed by the town and Naked Naturals, which plans to build a grocery store, residential units and on-site parking. Council has reserved up to $1M from the land sale that will be put toward the development of public amenities in the area.
“Naked Naturals offered the best price, legal certainty, design flexibility and a commitment to the transparent public process that must be followed moving forward,” said Mayor Brian Wiese. “The town is pleased to work with Naked Naturals as they expand their business and create a special place for everyone to enjoy.”
Naked Naturals owners Kris Baker and Jordan Batey said they are grateful for the opportunity.
“We look forward to working with the Town of Qualicum Beach to create something special that we can all be proud of, and to better serve our hometown,” they said.
During the next two months, the town will work with Naked Naturals, local stakeholders and community representatives on the overall development configuration. The town will also be exploring the development of amenities on town land.
Naked Naturals will subsequently submit a full development application, which will be the subject of a public zoning amendment application and development permit review. Members of the public will have multiple opportunities to comment throughout the development review process.
The town will engage residents and stakeholder groups in a discussion about how to best deal with the remaining town land for amenities (in addition to parking). Some of the ideas to be explored include a public square, pavilion, amphitheatre and theatre.
— NEWS Staff