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City of Port Alberni to announce Somass Lands developer

Staff states announcement on 43-acre property will be coming Dec. 12
An excavator works to remove debris from the former Somass sawmill site on Port Alberni’s waterfront. (ELENA RARDON / Alberni Valley News)

The City of Port Alberni is set to announce the name of the developer for the Somass Sawmill lands.

The city on Friday posted on its Facebook page that “something big is brewing in the Somass Lands development” and that a “highly anticipated” news release about the developer will be coming Tuesday, Dec. 12.

The city issued a Request for Expressions of Interest in September 2022 to identify developers wanting to be involved in the redevelopment of the 43-acre Somass Lands, where the former Somass Sawmill once operated.

Six proposals for development were made during a request for qualifications in the spring of 2023 and narrowed down to two proponents.

In August 2023 city CAO Mike Fox said they were in negotiations with a developer, however, he was unable to name the partner. Tuesday’s anticipated announcement is the third time the city has said it would name the developer.

Mayor Sharie Minions was quoted in another media source as saying the developer is “well-known” and not small.

Demolition of buildings on the site has continued over the past several months.