Sale of Pitt Meadows city land to help pay off debt

The 4.65 hectares site located south of Airport Way and west of Bonson Road was sold to the Onni Group for $12.25 million.

Cash from the sale of city-owned land will be used to pay down loans, erasing more than $8 million in debt for Pitt Meadows.

The 4.65 hectares site located south of Airport Way and west of Bonson Road was sold to the Onni Group for $12.25 million.

The site is designated for residential development in the city’s official community plan and will be developed for medium density housing similar in feel to the popular riverfront community Osprey Village.

“We were very fortunate to sell when we did and the purchase price was right in line with our independent market projections,” said Mayor Deb Walters, adding that the city needs to be strategic with how the dollars are spent.

“We need to continue to think long term and ensure that we are still in a positive place a decade or more from now. “

Heeding a call from residents to reduce its current burden of $16 million in debt, council allocated three quarters of the sale proceeds to immediately pay off loans for community projects such as arena renovations ($8.6 million) and drainage improvements ($589,000).

The balance of $3.05 million could be used to further reduce debt, fund future infrastructure projects or put into reserves. Council will discuss that during business planning sessions later this fall.

Next for the property development will be a rezoning application and a public consultation process to gather feedback on its design and land use. The city expects an application to be made by Onni in late 2012 or early 2013.

“Onni has had a successful partnership working with the City of Pitt Meadows for the past decade on such developments as Meadowtown Centre and the Golden Ears Business Park,” said vice-president of development Beau Jarvis. “The City of Pitt Meadows is a well-planned community offering citizens a mix of rural and urban lifestyles in a natural setting with all the city amenities. Onni is proud to play an ongoing role in that successful formula.”

– with files