News Views: Our own Port Haney

The owner of the log sort business along the Fraser River in Maple Ridge wants to redevelop the property.

The owner of the log sort business along the Fraser River in Maple Ridge wants to redevelop the property, building apartments and shops in historic Port Haney, as well as a marina and float plane dock.

The concept is reminiscent of a plan put forward by aspiring politician Claus Andrup a decade or so ago, only for the Albion area.

This is further west, stretching 600 metres from Kanaka Creek Regional Park to the wharf, all south of the train tracks.

The plan outlines three apartment blocks, a row of townhomes, an office building and ground-level retails space, including a restaurant, as well as a pedestrian walkway, wooden boardwalk and park, replacing the log sort business that has occupied the prime riverfront property for the past 40 years.

The proposal was presented to council Monday. But the property owner, Canadian Overseas Group – which also operates the Blue Mountain woodlot, and the Andersen Pacific Forest Products sawmill in Ruskin – hasn’t decided if it will sell the property to a developer, or build the proposal itself.

But council has been pushing it for years to do something different with the property, which, being a thin strip so near the CP Rail tracks, presents a few challenges.

Still, this kind of project would not just enhance, but reshape downtown Maple Ridge. It could become like False Creek or Coal Harbour in Vancouver, a truly desirable place to be, a jewel of a village on the Fraser.

But council must be diligent about what it wants and what it expects from any developer of this property. It’s too valuable for Maple Ridge let it become another Sawyer’s Landing, which, while a nice riverfront residential community, has yet to fulfill its promise.

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

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