Capital Regional District leases back failed sewage site to food supplier

The Viewfield Road site, in Esquimalt's light industrial park, was purchased last March for $17 million

The Capital Regional District is leasing an Esquimalt industrial property it purchased last year back to the buildings’ current tenant.

The 4.2-acre Viewfield Road site, in Esquimalt’s light industrial park, was purchased last March for $17 million as a potential alternative to Hartland landfill for a biosolids plant, part of the CRD’s $783-million sewage treatment program, Seaterra.

The proposal was eventually axed after overwhelming opposition from surrounding residents and local politicians. But the site’s current tenant, Wilson Foods, wasn’t meant to vacate the space until next September when the CRD takes possession.

Instead, Wilson Foods will pay $1.3 million to stay at the site for another year with the option for renewal.

The lease agreement will cover temporary loan interest, operating costs, insurance and property taxes and help the CRD pay down mortgage principal, said Andy Orr, CRD spokesman.

The CRD board has a three-month lease termination clause to vacate about 20,000 square feet of the 126,000 square-foot site if it finds a more suitable use for the property, Orr said.

The Viewfield property is valued at $13,950,000 in 2014 by B.C. Assessment.