Waterfront Development has been a priority of the Powell River Regional Economic Development Society since its formation. It has worked with the City on a number of projects to spur the re-development of the community’s waterfront in order to generate new streams of revenue, jobs and make Powell River a more attractive place to live and do business.
Over the past few years PRREDS has been working with the City to find ways to develop the Willingdon South property, which for many years was the site of the community’s civic arena. Past planning efforts have identified the opportunity to re-develop the property for a number of proposes. Of the six efforts that have been made, the following elements were identified as being part of any development...
The residential development is seen as a way to help pay for the construction of cultural facilities and a civic square, as well as establish a new stream of tax revenue for the City.
In closing, PRREDS would like to clarify that although there have been a number enquiries about the availability of the Willingdon South property over the years, there is no deal in place with any company to develop the site. City Council is considering a motion to amend the Official Community Plan and the Zoning Bylaw to allow for Mixed Use development in order to seriously consider the options for the property.
Below you will find links to the Powell River Waterfront Development Plan (June 2005) and our society’s letter to the City regarding its position on the OCP and Zoning Bylaw amendments. Please keep checking back to this page as more information will be added shortly.
From 2006 to 2008 the PRREDS Waterfront Development Committee worked on developing a recommended course of action for the City to develop the ‘Willingdon Cultural Focus’ element from the 2005 Waterfront Development Plan. After consulting with numerous stakeholder groups that included the Tla’Amin First Nation, Powell River Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Powell River, Powell River Library Board, Powell River Museum, Powell River Academy of Music, Malaspina Artists Society; the committee developed a recommendation to the City to look at pursuing a Public/Private Partnership to develop Cultural Facilities on the property. The Council of the time authorized PRREDS to conduct a Preliminary Expressions of Interest on the development in order to gather information to conduct a public consultation process.
Although the PEOI process received submissions from private developers, there was not enough information to do a proper consultation process due to the lack of surety that council was serious about developing. As a result the process was scrapped. The following is a copy of the presentation that was made to City Council on the recommendation to pursue a P3 development. The presentation was attended by approximately 12 stakeholder groups that supported the recommendation.
In October 2003 PRREDS released its Cultural Master Plan. The document contains numerous projects that were undertaken by community champions to enhance Powell River’s cultural sector. The following excerpt is a description of proposed developments for the Willingdon Beach area which includes the construction of a ‘Discovery Centre’ on the Willingdon South property. It is one of only a few projects that has never come to fruition.
Willingdon South Concept drawing