Best estimate puts Sandown Commons years away

Commercial development at North Saanich site could start by 2017.

Sandown race track structures won’t be demolished until the Randall family has made progress with developing the commercial portion of the property in North Saanich.

Demolition of buildings and remediation of land at the Sandown horse racing track in North Saanich is still years away.

John Allan of Platform Properties says deconstruction activity on the property is unlikely to start before 2017.

“That’s based on how long things are likely to take,” he said.

Those things he mentions includes interest from potential tenants in a proposed commercial development on 12 acres of the property, which was tentatively named Sandown Commons under a previous development company. Platform took over the management of the project from Omicron Canada Inc. late last year. Allan said the property owners, the Randall family, have a prior relationship with Platform.

“We are not still at the front end of this process,” he explained. “We are actively engaged  in looking for tenants.”

Once there are committed businesses, he continued, the actual work preparing the site for redevelopment can proceed, as well as a public consultation process required by the District of North Saanich.

The District approved the Sandown deal last year after getting the green light from the Agricultural Land Reserve. The lion’s share of the site — 83 acres — will be cleared and transferred to the municipality as agricultural land. The District has yet to determine how it will be used. Once fully developed, it is estimated that the Sandown Commons commercial area could contribute close to $350,000 a year in property taxes to the municipality.

Sandown was at one time a horse racing track operated by the Ascot Jockey Club, which in turn was owned by the Randall family.