In a landmark deal years in the making, Colwood and Seacliff Properties have signed a development agreement for the Royal Beach waterfront property on a partially remediated gravel mine.
Picture instead an outdoor shopping plaza with waterfront pubs, parks, an 8,000 square metre parking lot, and thousands of new homes. Transit hubs would be included to service the hoped for West Shore to downtown ferry Colwood is advocating for.
The 130-acre property’s master plan calls for nearly one-third of the area to be parks. The rest will be a fairly dense combination of commercial and residential space. Up to 2,850 homes are allowed, in mixtures of detached houses, townhouses and apartments.
The city and developer have been discussing plans, with three open houses, for years. Seacliff Properties bought the land in 2017. The collection of five parcels has a property value of more than $32 million.
Satellite images showing the Royal Beach project area. Royal Bay is the development area directly to the left of the rectangle outlined in orange. (Seacliff Properties images)
The hillside will require extensive remediation to stabilize the slope, and improve stormwater drainage, and address the challenges of sea level rise and erosion. The first phase will be a commercial shopping destination that the city hopes will become a gathering place.
Up the hill on the west side of Metchosin Road is the Royal Bay development which recently built hundreds of homes, commercial buildings and Royal Bay Secondary School. That developer has a second phase of development planned for south of Latoria Road, including a new branch of the Royal BC Museum.
The Royal Beach Park is already open to the public, with a playground and beach and Olympic-sized volleyball courts.