A Victoria-based company has struck a conditional deal to purchase Sidney’s Cedarwood Inn and Suites. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Victoria company plans to re-develop iconic Sidney motel

Public information session postponed amid COVID-19 concerns

A developer struck a conditional deal to purchase Sidney’s Cedarwood Inn and Suites with an eye towards building a four-storey mixed residential-commercial development on the site. The Lochside Drive location would include up to 265 rental units ranging from studios to four-bedroom townhouses.

The ocean-facing business is a familiar, even iconic site in the region, with countless motorists, cyclists and pedestrians passing it.

Jordan Milne, president and chief executive officer of GMC Projects, said the deal hinges on council rezoning the property from its current neighbourhood motel with a maximum height of nine metres (two storeys). “The property needs to be entitled for more than a motel and a restaurant given its size in order for it to proceed,” he said, adding about one-third of the 3.25-acre property remains unused.

RELATED: Six stories a non-starter at Sidney’s Cedarwood Inn site

Milne said his company’s plan “aligns very much” with the findings of Sidney’s recent housing needs assessment. “Our real goal is trying to fill that gap as it has been identified,” he said, adding the company has no interest in offering condominiums for purchase.

Milner did not disclose the purchase price for the motel built in the 1980s. “The assessed value of the property is obviously seven figures, so the purchase price would reflect that as well,” he said.

BC Assessment listed the value of the property located at 9522 Lochside Dr. at $8,341,600.

Milner later added that the purchase purchase “does not contemplate the value” of the existing site based on its existing use. “So if we are going to be unable to obtain a re-zoning, whether it is in the form that we are first envisioning or a modified form that may come after feedback, if we are unable to make a business case for it, then obviously we wouldn’t be proceeding,” he said.

Neither an artistic rendering nor a physical model of the proposed development is currently available, and the company had planned to reveal a model showing the proposed massing of the development to the surrounding neighbourhood in what was advertised as a workshop community meeting initially scheduled for March 18 at the Peace Lutheran Church. But the spread of COVID-19 led the company to postpone that meeting until such time that the situation had cleared up.

RELATED: New report finds many Sidney residents struggle with housing affordability

Milner said the meeting aims to engage residents and other stakeholders into what he called “some early and meaningful dialogue” around his company’s vision for the site to ensure it blends into the neighbourhood.

“[The] goal is we are going to have a workshop and we are going to put ourselves in a position to hear from the immediate neighbours and show them the density in order to facilitate the vision that we have,” he said. “They will then be able to plug and play with some of the building blocks to decide how the site should be best laid out to accommodate that density.”

Milner said the property currently does not offer much to the neighbourhood.

“What we are envisioning would provide a lot of benefits to the neighbourhood,” he added. That vision would include, among other things, a coffee shop and other benefits to users of public amenities along Lochside Drive.

“Our hope is to build an amenity-rich multi-generational community coupled with neighbourhood focused commercial space,” reads a letter that the company distributed to residents in the area.

When asked whether the public has a veto over the development, Milner said that council ultimately has a veto.

“There is a public process that has to unfold to facilitate our plan,” he said.

Milner added his company plans to submit an application later this spring, but could not give a specific date. “The first process is to have the workshop with the neighbours, to understand their thoughts, their concerns and their ideas, and then modify the plan as needed.”

This proposal is the latest in a series of attempted re-developments.

Plans by Total Concept Developments, a Kamloops-based company, to build three six-storey buildings (one hotel, two residential buildings) along Lochside Drive saw the public light about two years ago but did not get off the ground.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

John Roney has been working on Beneath the Emerald Sea for about a year now and expects it to be released in fall of 2021. (Provided by John Roney)
Victoria man films underwater documentary about sea life around Vancouver Island

John Roney expects Under the Emerald Sea to be released in 2021

Bill Phelps’s life has changed since he was able to get a safe pharmaceutical alternative to fentanyl after his pain medication was cut off a couple of years ago. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Unhoused community in Greater Victoria struggles to access safe supply

Safer Victoria Project working to connect people sheltering outside with pharmaceutical alternatives

Cole Byers and Jasmine Grant are taking a leap of faith and opening The Rack Westcoast Bistro in Langford, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Langford residents making “all-in move” opening restaurant amid COVID-19 pandemic

Although The Rack Westcoast Bistro isn’t officially open yet, it’s serving anyone who wanders in

Berwick House Retirement Community hosted its annual Great Pumpkin Walk with the Grade 5 students from Hillcrest Elementary in a pandemic-friendly fashion. (Photo courtesy Melissa Braun)
PHOTOS: Saanich retirement home welcomes students for pandemic-friendly Great Pumpkin walk

Annual Berwick House Halloween event brings joy to seniors, youngsters

Victoria police are looking for information after a man was seen spray painting over a section of the More Justice, More Peace mural Oct. 31. (Victoria Police Department)
More Justice, More Peace mural vandalized days after new change

A man was seen spray painting over the artists’ statement Saturday morning

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are looking for information about William Mack, last seen in Duncan on Oct. 28. (File photo)
Police searching for missing man last seen near Duncan

William Mack, 72, was seen on Gibbins Road on Oct. 28

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Most Read