The Tsartlip First Nation and Peninsula Co-op Board of Directors jointly announced on Dec. 17 their decision not to proceed with the proposed Gowdy Road Project.
The parties had been looking at building a new food store and Co-op headquarters on the site.
“By the time we went through and added up all the costs of the project it just didn’t pass the financial test,” explained Erik Gault, Operations Manager and Interim CEO and General Manager of Peninsula Co-op.
Gault added that the Co-op doesn’t currently have any plans in place for a new location for their food store and head offices, but that the board would consider all the options available to them — including options like relocating their headquarters to a community like the West Shore that has an existing Co-op presence.
“I think we need to look at all our options but our goal first and foremost is to keep our food store in Central Saanich,” Gault said, adding that he feels the current property in Keating isn’t the best place for what they want to do.
“I’m not convinced the industrial park is the best place for a food store or head office,” Gault said.
Talks of building on Tsartlip land came after the Co-op and the District of Central Saanich’s request to build at West Saanich and Keating Cross roads was denied by the Capital Regional District. The CRD didn’t allow amendments to the municipality’s regional context statement because it wasn’t consistent with the CRD’s overarching regional growth strategy.
Mayor Alastair Bryson said he hopes the municipality’s relationship with the Co-op can remain strong after the announcement that they won’t be proceeding with the project.
“The Peninsula Co-op is a highly valued member of our business community here in Central Saanich,” he said. “We are fully committed to working with them to see they stay and flourish in the community.”