With reference to your interview with mayoral candidate Don Amos (Amos seeks return, PNR, Sept. 5) there is mention of Mr. Amos’ presentation to council last March.
At that meeting, Mr. Amos pleaded with council to keep its waterfront property (Seaport East) and not sell or exchange it and, in doing, find a higher purpose for this valuable land. In a PNR piece on March 26, a direct quote from Mr. Amos is highlighted, “Previous councils did not sell its waterfront properties, they leased it out preserving ownership for future generations.”
His statement is interesting as in 1999 there was a development proposal involving the Town and the then leaseholder of Seaport East, Sidney Pier Holdings (SPH). The council of the day, under the leadership of Mayor Amos, did indeed approve a land exchange/purchase agreement whereby the Town was transferring ownership rights of a significant portion of the Seaport East leasehold lands to SPH in exchange for the Town receiving freehold title to land on the west side of Seaport East.
The Town’s land, prime waterfront, was approximately two times larger that SPH’s parcel. The parties agreed the Town would receive a lump sum of $360,000 from SPH because of the vast difference in size between the parcels.
The development proposal entailed SPH constructing and owning a three-level commercial/office development. The Town, in turn, was to develop its land into an above-grade parking structure. While the Town did approve the development, the arrangement did not proceed.
While I certainly appreciate the comments and perspective provided by Mr. Amos, I think it’s equally important to fully understand the history and complexities of this waterfront site.