A familiar name on the Oak Bay waterfront has been named publicly as the district’s chosen proponent to redevelop Spewhung/Turkey Head.
Oak Bay Marine Group, which has operated the Oak Bay Marina for decades, was announced Monday as the winning proponent from the selection process. The company and the District of Oak Bay had last week entered into negotiations, during which time the two parties mutually agreed to release the group’s name as the chosen proponent for the project.
“We’re thrilled to be selected,” said company CEO Brook Castelsky in a statement. “Oak Bay has been our home for the last 60 years and we look forward to continuing to evolve and meet the needs of the community.”
The District made the selection in late May of Proponent 1, but chose not to reveal the name before this week.
Oak Bay Marine Group also gave permission for its technical proposal to be released by the district. According to Section 1.3.1 of the proposal, the company hopes to transform Turkey Head area into a destination that serves diverse uses and a wide demographic, fosters community, embraces environmental sustainability and respects the Lekwungen peoples’ historical ties to the land.
During negotiations, the district will reference public feedback gathered during spring 2021 as part of its request for proposals process. Relevant feedback includes questionnaire replies, input from committee of the whole meetings, letters and emails.
Negotiations are expected to run until March 2022. The district’s current contracts around Turkey Head, one lease with the province and a sublease for Oak Bay Marina, expire in December 2022.
Before the district signs its next lease for the area, the Community Charter requires it to publish a notice of intent and share details such as future rent amounts.
Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch said in a phone interview that the district’s priorities for the new lease and development fell under the categories of technicality, community and finance. He said the district still had a considerable amount of work to do to lay out its goals.
“I look forward to a productive discussion with Oak Bay Marine Group as we work towards a final agreement that addresses the financial, environmental, social and public amenity goals we’ve heard from the community,” Murdoch said in the statement.
For more information on the Turkey Head Walkway, visit oakbay.ca/parks-recreation.
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