The Shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation has outbid other suitors by approximately $400,000 to buy the 396.9-acre site of a failed mixed-use waterfront development on the Sunshine Coast north of Vancouver.
The development had fallen into foreclosure in 2018 when the owner, SSC Properties Ltd., failed to get to public hearing at Sechelt council two years ago this month. SSC had planned to develop approximately 1,600 homes and retail-resort facilities on the Porpoise Bay lands on Sechelt Inlet.
When the permit bid died, SSC put the site up for sale for $23.8 million.
In June 2018, Eagles Edge Capital Corp. started foreclosure proceedings against the company, claiming SSC had defaulted on a $10.75 million mortgage.
J-D Murray, a senior associate with NAI Commercial in Vancouver, who brokered the sale with fellow NAI agent Gary Haukeland and Chris Moore, president of Crosby Moore Real Estate, said his “vendor was doing cartwheels” at the final sale price.
At the court-ordered sale in January, the property was listed at $13.9 million. Murray said a bid for $9.8 million had already been presented. Then a second bid arrived, at $14.6 million, however, the potential buyer did not have the necessary deposit to close the deal.
“But that became a moot point when the Sechelt Nation bid $15 million,” Murray said.
Shíshálh Chief Warren Paull said the near-400-acre property “was too good to pass up,” because the community needs land for housing, and the parcel has three water licences that could support a fish hatchery.
The property’s zoning remains CD-13, a comprehensive zoning instituted about 10 years ago to allow for the proposed Silverback development, which included a golf course and 1,600 homes.
The Shíshálh, which bought the land through Tsain-ko Run of River LP, has also identified industrial and recreational opportunities on the waterfront, gravel resources, potential for subdividing the land and a possible partnership for a hotel, said the band’s press release announcing the purchase.
It added that the property borders Shíshálh Nation land, and that it has been working with the province to identify 197 acres of Crown land that could be transferred to the Shíshálh for residential use.
“The Foundation Agreement [a 2018 agreement between B.C. and the Shíshálh] states that if the Nation and B.C. cannot identify Crown land suitable for residential lands they can work together to identify alternate private lands,” the release said. “Council will continue to work with the province to complete this work.”
In 2018, the province provided about $36 million to pay for the transfer of three parcels of Crown land to the 1,380-member Shíshálh Nation. That land is also adjacent to Shíshálh territory.