Albion ferry terminal has new owner

Fraser Shipyard bought the two-acre property for about $2.2 million.

The property has been vacant since the ferry operation ceased.

The property has been vacant since the ferry operation ceased.

The lot where people used to line up for the Albion ferry to cross the Fraser River has been sold.

Fraser Shipyard and Industrial Centre has bought the two-acre piece of property for about $2.2 million.

TransLink has been trying to sell the property for five years, since the ferry shut down and the Golden Ears Bridge opened.

Fraser Shipyard does marine maintenance and repair, but hasn’t identified a use for the property on River Road.

“We’ve been in the business for many years,” said Elias Haddad, with Fraser Shipyards.

“We do lots of work for B.C. Ferries. We do lots of work for Fraser River Pile and Dredge.”

An affiliate company, Esquimalt Drydock in Victoria, handles the bigger projects, while smaller ships are worked on in Metro Vancouver from the Richmond location.

For now, the company is going to fix up the office buildings on the property and clean up the site and may lease out the office space.

Further modifications may follow depending on how the company wants to use the site.

Haddad said the company may build a drydock on the property, or it may use the site for barge repairs, but that hasn’t been finalized.

It could put a small marina along the water. The ramps to the dock are in good condition.

“It’s going to take some time. That’s our plan.”

Maple Ridge council had wanted the site to remain in public hands for future use as a waterfront recreational area as part of a larger park.

One possible use for the lot was as part of the Experience the Fraser project, the goal of which is to build a recreational trail on both sides of the Fraser River, from Vancouver to Hope.

Maple Ridge also asked Metro Vancouver parks if it wanted to partner in buying the property for eventual use as a regional park. But Metro Vancouver parks said last year that it didn’t like the site.

The Fraser River flows too fast at that point for easy access to the water, said Metro Vancouver. It’s also too far from Kanaka Creek Regional Park and too small to serve as a boat launch facility.