First Nation's deal on bankrupt Sechelt resort site 'too good to pass up'

Company controlled by shíshálh Nation outbid others at court-ordered sale with $15 million offer, at which "vendor was doing cartwheels"

Western Investor
February 26, 2020

Porpoise Bay
Near-400-acre failed development site was bought in a court-ordered sale that drew competing bids. | NAI Commercial

A company controlled by the shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation outbid other suitors by approximately $400,000 to purchase the 396.9-acre site of a failed mixed-use waterfront development on the Sunshine Coast north of Vancouver. 

The development had fallen into foreclosure in 2018 when the owner, SSC Properties Ltd., failed to get to public hearing at Sechelt council two years ago this month. SSC had planned to develop about 1,600 homes and retail-resort facilities on the Porpoise Bay lands on Sechelt Inlet. 

When the permit bid died, SSC put the site up for sale for $23.8 million, but there were no takers.

In June 2018, Eagles Edge Capital Corp. started foreclosure proceedings against the company, claiming SSC had defaulted on a $10.75 million mortgage.

J-D Murray, a senior associate with NAI Commercial in Vancouver, who brokered the sale with fellow NAI agent Gary Haukeland and Chris Moore, president of Crosby Moore Real Estate, listed the property under the client’s order for conduct of sale at $13.98 million.

At the court-ordered sale in January a bid of $9.8 million had already been presented. Then a second bid arrived, at $14.6 million, but the potential buyer did not have the necessary deposit to close the deal, Murray explained.

“But that became a moot point when the Sechelt Nation bid $15 million,” Murray said, adding his “vendor was doing cartwheels” at the final sale price.

Shíshálh Chief Warren Paull said the 396.9-acre property “was too good to pass up,” as the community needs land for housing, and the parcel has three water licences which could support a fish hatchery. 

The property’s zoning remains CD-13, a comprehensive zoning put in place about 10 years ago to allow the proposed Silverback development, which included a golf course and 1,600 homes.

The Nation, which purchased the land through Tsain-ko Run of River LP, has also identified industrial and recreational opportunities on the waterfront, gravel resources, potential for subdividing the land and partnership potential for a hotel, said the band’s press release announcing the purchase.

The land borders Sechelt Nation land, the release said.

The release also noted that the Nation has been working with the province to identify 197 acres of Crown land that could be transferred to the shíshálh for residential use.

“The Foundation Agreement [a 2018 agreement between B.C. and the shíshálh] states that if the Nation and B.C. cannot identify Crown land suitable for residential lands they can work together to identify alternate private lands. Council will continue to work with the province to complete this work,” the release said.

In 2018 the province provided about $36 million to pay for the transfer of three parcels of Crown land to the 1,380-member shíshálh Nation. 

That land is also adjacent to shíshálh territory. 

Frank O'Brien is the editor of Western Canada's biggest commercial real estate newspaper, Western Investor, as well as a contributing editor at West Coast Condominium, real estate contributor to Business in Vancouver and a regular media commentator on real estate investment.
Copyright © Western Investor

Email to a Friend

Most Popular