The Town of Qualicum Beach has signed an agreement with Naked Naturals Whole Foods Ltd. (Naked Naturals) to sell one acre of land for the purpose of a new grocery store, residential units and onsite parking on the former “Bus Garage” property. In addition, the Town will retain over one acre of land for the development of public amenities.
The decision to sell this piece of land to Naked Naturals, at a purchase price of $2,750,000, comes after a four-month public procurement process to explore the best obtainable value from applicants. It was decided by Council that Naked Naturals’ proposal offered the best financial value, while allowing the Town to retain enough land for public amenities. Naked Naturals also offered the greatest certainty, placing key commitments in written form as part of the purchase and sale agreement.
The agreement includes the following key points:
- Naked Naturals will purchase one acre of land
- The Town will retain approximately 6,477m2 of land (62%) in this location. The land will be used for parking and new community amenities, such as a public square, pavilion, theatre or amphitheatre.
- Council has reserved up to $1,000,000 from the land sale that will be put toward the development of public amenities in the area.
- The land being sold is located between the intersections of Fern Road West, Memorial Avenue and Fourth Avenue West – exact configuration to be determined.
“Naked Naturals offered the best price, legal certainty, design flexibility and a commitment to the transparent public process that must be followed moving forward. The Town is pleased to work with Naked Naturals as they expand their business and create a special place for everyone to enjoy.” – Mayor Brian Wiese
“Naked Naturals Whole Foods is grateful for this opportunity. We look forward to working with the Town of Qualicum Beach to create something special that we can all be proud of, and to better serve our hometown.” - Owners Kris Baker and Jordan Batey.
Over the next two months, the Town will work with Naked Naturals, local stakeholders, and community representatives on the overall development configuration. The Town will also be exploring the development of amenities on Town land.
Naked Naturals will subsequently submit a full development application, which will be the subject of a public zoning amendment application and development permit review. Members of the public will have multiple opportunities to comment throughout the development review process.
The Town will be engaging residents and stakeholder groups in a discussion about how to best engage the remaining Town land for amenities (in addition to parking). Some of the ideas to be explored include a public square, pavilion, amphitheatre and theatre.
Public consultation has been undertaken on this land over many years, and the decision made reflects this consultation:
- The Town consulted the public about the development of this land as part of their Official Community Plan (OCP) consultation process in 2011, and again in 2018.
- The Town consulted the public about the development of this land in 2019-2020 as part of the Bus Garage/Qualicum Commons Consultation Process that produced a Final Vision Report in 2020.
- The proposal put forward by Naked Naturals aligns with what the Town heard from the public through the above consultation processes.
- The Official Community Plan identifies the following potential uses for the site, which the Town used to help in their decision making:
- Park / Public Square
- Neighbourhood Pub
- Commercial Space (retail/office)
- Artist Studios / Galleries
- Performing Arts Centre
- Seniors’ Centre
- Residential Development Above Ground Floor
- Outdoor Performance Venue
- Movie Theatre
Luke Sales, Director of Planning and Community Development
Town of Qualicum Beach