Saanich plans to hire a private company to guide the future of a major public asset.
Staff has recommended the municipality pay Colliers International $30,000 out of council’s strategic initiatives contingency fund to help determine whether Saanich should move its parks and public works yard to a new location or re-develop the current site at the corner of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue.
Council will consider this recommendation Monday, after a staff review of “all public and private lands with relevant criteria” had come up inconclusive.
Saanich had formally launched plans to re-develop the parks and public works yard in the spring of 2018 after a report ranked the facility plus Fire Hall N0. 2 as the “highest priorities” for capital investments over the next 20 years. That report found among other points that the facility’s current condition pose a risk to service delivery.
Several key questions starting with the facility’s future location remain outstanding at this time — hence Collier’s pending involvement.
“Re-developing the [facility] is a high priority for council,” said Kelsie McLeod, a spokesperson for the District of Saanich. “The decision on whether the facility will remain at its current location or will move from its current location can only be made once all opportunities to potentially relocate have been confirmed.”
Saanich, in other words, may yet choose to re-develop the current public works yard at its current location.
Saanich has stipulated that potential properties must be within the Urban Containment Boundary (UCB), with a minimum area of six acres with a preference for eight to nine acres, said McLeod.
McLeod described Colliers as a “well-known real estate consultant with extensive experience” in reviewing marketplaces, adding that Saanich looks forward to work with the company.
One group likely following this work with interest is the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association.
It plans to build a Velodrome and internal discussions have identified the public works yard as a potential location for the facility with a potential price tag of up to $120 million.