Saturday, June 13, 2015

SD52 set to close deal for Kanata School Property

All that remains to  done to close
a deal on the sale of the
Kanata School lands
is a successful rezoning proposal
The School District is working towards the final stages of a long sought after sale of their Kanata School property, with the Board of Education noting that they have a conditional sale in place pending approval of a rezoning from public use to multi-family residential use.

If approved by the City, the school building would be demolished and work would commence on a new housing development in the area bordered by Frederick Street, Ottawa Avenue, Crestview Drive and the new Quickload Terminals yard.

The property which has sat unused for a number of years, was closed during the School District's consolidation of the schools of 2008, which saw two schools, Kanata and Seal Cove shuttered on the east side.

The Kanata property to this point is the only one from that round of closures that the School District has been able to move forward through a sale process, though there have been challenges along the way.

The most recent movement from the School District to sell the land began in late 2014, with confirmation from the Ministry of Education to allow for the sale received earlier this year.  Once they had the go ahead from Education Minister Peter Fassbender, SD52 put the property back on the market in May.

Such was their determination to move their plan forward that SD52 officials recently appeared at a City of Prince Rupert zoning hearing, seeking to express their thoughts on the zoning changes proposed for the old Canadian Freightways yard.

School District 52 will be seeking a
zoning change for the Kanata School
property to finish off their land sale
With SD52 outlining their fears that a zoning change to allow Quickload Terminals to relocate to the site, could have had a negative impact on their efforts.

That hearing provided for a bit of a controversial exchange between City Council and the School District, with Council in the end choosing to not accept the School District's views on the impact of the Canadian Freightways  property development, related to the Kanata property concerns.

Following that April session, the School District didn't hide their disappointment in the approach of the city towards their concerns.

Of interest from those days of the Canadian Freightways public hearing, is the commentary from Mr. David McWalter a participant at those hearings.

At the time he appeared with the Quickload group and noted during  that session that he was also representing another group in the community interested in purchasing the Kanata School site, adding that he didn't believe that the zoning issues from the Quckload application would have a negative impact on the Kanata land values.

And while he did not identify the Bryton Group at that time as the other group, Mr. McWalter is also working with that developer, and it would seem that his comments related to the future sale for Kanata seemed to carry some weight towards the end of the process.

With the sale announcement now made, the successful bidder has been identified as the Bryton Group, which is currently involved with the Park Avenue housing proposal and is also engaged with a number proposed developments in the Northwest, including a new hotel complex planned for the Kitimat area.

The final sale price was not disclosed as part of the School District update from the June 9th Board meeting, but the listing price with Royal Lepage had the property on the market for $975,000 dollars.

Considering that disappointment of just a few months ago, the rezoning application for the land should find no trouble moving forward from City Council, which one imagines would welcome the development of more housing lots within the city limits.

As part of their  Highlights from the June 9th Board Meeting the School District noted that the proposed rezoning is consistent with the designation of the property in the City's Official Community Plan.

An excerpt on the Kanata School poperty
taken from the School District 52 notes related to their
June 9th Board of Education meeting

The School District previously outlined that the Board of Education would determine how the money received from the sale should be allocated through the District.

For more items related to Housing issues in the region see our archive page here, we also have more background on School District 52 items available here.

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