Langford's Western Speedway up for sale, but the race must go on

Mayor says it would have to be a “spectacularly better” plan for council to approve rezoning that would allow demolition of the speedway

By
Times Colonist
March 18, 2020





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Western Speedway in Langford can be seen in this photo from the cover of CBRE Ltd. sales brochure.

It might be up for sale, but it will take a pretty special proposal to convince Langford there shouldn’t be a racetrack at Western Speedway, says Mayor Stew Young.

Young said Langford will wait and see what a new owner wants to do with the property, but it would have to be “spectacularly better” for the council to approve a rezoning that would allow the demolition of the speedway.

“Langford’s preference is to keep it as the historic site it is,” said Young. “New people coming in will have to recognize the importance of the speedway to the community.”

Western Speedway, established in 1954, is Western Canada’s oldest speedway and had a B.C. “Stop of Interest” sign unveiled at the site in 2018. It now has a for-sale sign.

The track and surrounding land are part of the estate of Vera Wille, who died in 2017. For the past two years, ESAI Corporation has been preparing the 80.97 acres for sale, said president Duncan Thomson.

The land, at 2207 Millstream Rd., is being marketed to large developers interested in creating a master-planned industrial business park on the site, with the possibility of an additional small residential development.

The land has no price tag, as it will be sold via a competitive bid process. Submissions will be accepted until 11 a.m. on June 18 and will be evaluated on the price being offered, deposit structure and the timelines for closing the deal. Parties that qualify will be asked to enter into a confidentiality agreement prior to gaining access to the finer details of the property.

Thomson said the market will ultimately determine the property’s price, and the successful buyer will determine the future of the land.

“It’s not for anyone to decide what’s there except the new owner — they will make the new decision,” he said. The official community plan is clear — “they want to see business and light industrial uses on that land. There’s no mention in the official community plan of the continuation of the speedway.

“We rely on an official community plan. We see them and treat them as serious documents. We always believe they have been formulated in good faith.”

While Young said Langford council will look at all rezoning applications, he is adamant the last word will go to council.

“It’s private land and they can come in for rezoning, and if council decides to give them rezoning, we will see what they bring forward,” he said.

“I don’t think you’ll see much change of that use there. The speedway has been well supported by council.”

The Western Speedway site also includes a go-kart track, mini golf, batting cages and an RV park.

According to real estate firm CBRE’s sales brochure, income from tenants has traditionally covered expenses and the $192,755 in annual property taxes.

aduffy@timescolonist.com


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