On March 1, Kensington Union Bay Properties Limited held a  press conference to announce the launch Union Bay Estates development, a residential and commercial development located on 850 acres in Union Bay.

Located 15 minutes south of Courtenay, Union Bay Estates will include many residential options including multi and single-family residential, retirement and senior living, work/live homes and affordable housing. As a destination community, the development will also incorporate mixed use commercial space, along with two new hotels, a marina and amenities such as a pharmacy, medical clinic, movie theatre, coffee shop and more.

The Master Development Agreement for this project allows up to 2,949 new residential units to be built. Currently, there are approximately 1,200 residents living in Union Bay and the population could increase by an additional 7,500 to 9,000 once the project has been built out.

A subdivision application to the Ministry of Transportation and Highways and the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is expected to be submitted very soon . The first phase will include 30 lots for single-family homes, and nine of the homes are zoned to accommodate a carriage or laneway style of second dwelling. A three-storey commercial building is also planned to begin with the Phase 1 construction. This building will house the developer’s offices as well as offices for other tenants.

A 30-acre park will be created onto the waterfront once the Province and West Fraser Timber complete the coal hill remediation plan. Future plans for the development include a walkway which follows the old Collier Railway corridor, an outdoor gathering place and a golf course is under consideration.

Kensington Union Bay Properties Limited will also donate land for the following purposes: 16 per cent of the property for parks and trails; six serviced building lots to the CVRD to allow for the construction of affordable housing; and land to the Union Bay Improvement District for the water treatment plant, a fire hall and a new elementary school.

The design and planning for this project started almost 20 years ago and is officially moving forward with the Master Development Agreement in place, a Water Servicing Agreement in place with the Union Bay Improvement District and an Impact Benefit Agreement negotiated with K’omoks First Nation. Work on the water treatment plant, roads and infrastructure is expected to begin in 2018. Construction of Phase I, to build 30 single family homes is expected to be underway in the summer of 2019.

Excerpted from the March Edition of Business Examiner Vancouver Island

Clarice Coty is the founder of Building Links.
Contact: clarice@ buildinglinks.ca or
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