A mixed-use development on the former site of an iconic waterfront pub in Sidney promises to enhance the area.
“We are quite excited to breathe some new life into this part of town and get to work here,” said Scott Davies of Cube Project Management Ltd., which plans to build four three-storey, mixed-use buildings at 2270 Harbour Rd. It’s the former site of the Blue Peter Pub and Restaurant, which burnt in the early morning hours of July 7, 2011.
Each of the four buildings will feature industrial and commercial uses on the first two floors and a single residential unit and inclusive rooftop terrace on the third floor. Cube plans to start construction in July.
Earlier this spring Sidney council unanimously approved a development permit application for the site, subject to various conditions, then a building permit was issued in April.
Davies predicts the project will enhance the neighbourhood specifically and Sidney’s marine sector generally, noting the commercial and industrial spaces aim to attract marine-related services in line with adjacent activities.
“We’ve got a country club next door and then we go this depressed estate here,” he said, pointing to the site, whose current uses include, among others, surface parking. “And what we are doing here is professional, marine-oriented. It will be more like electronics, insurance and stuff like that. There already has been some newer construction and this will add to it.”
The design calls for contemporary, cubic style buildings, which Davies said will feature a high-quality modern industrial look with rust metal panelling and zinc metal siding.
The location formally known as the Blue Peter Marina also includes a water lot lease with a large wooden pier and a small working marina – the plan is to rent out slips to future residents.
Davies estimated the value of the project to be at least $12 million, with construction set to last about a year. Other possible changes to the site could see the addition of seasonal businesses to the pier including food service with water-facing bar stools.
“We will see what happens with the pier here,” he said. “Maybe we can do a little small pub or something like it down here. I have not shied away from that. Right now, my main focus is on this. The Blue Peter was quite an icon in the neighbourhood here. But it had its days. It was tired and we are renaming it. We are calling this development Harbour Haven.”
Overall, Davies looks forward to being part of the area.
“It really is unique. I cannot think of anywhere else on the Island like Harbour Road, where you have everything mostly marine-oriented. It’s quite a special area. Sidney really is the gateway for boating in British Columbia.”
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