Friday, 2 May 2014

Sidney, airport to develop prime site for town gateway



Andrew Duffy/Times Colonist
May 2, 2014


The Town of Sidney and the Victoria Airport Authority have agreed to develop 10 acres of land at the
southwest corner of Beacon Avenue and Highway 17, establishing a new gateway into the town.

“What we want is to create something that is really a fantastic entry point for the Town of Sidney, so it will
be of the highest standards in terms of architectural finishes, design and look,” said airport authority
president Geoff Dickson.

“The goal is to make it a draw to bring people into the town.”

Though the bulk of the land belongs to the airport, both parties share a vision for the design and function of
what will be a professional and commercial structure that will divert traffic into Sidney.

“We want it built to gateway standards in terms of its design — that means high quality,” said Sidney Mayor
Larry Cross. “And we are seeking complementary businesses to the town itself, in order to support our
downtown — that’s really important.”

Cross would also like to see a tourism information centre on the gateway site.

There is an information centre operated by the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce on Beacon Avenue across
from the Mary Winspear Centre.

The information centre along Highway 17 closed last fall and will not operate this year.

Dickson said most of the land is already zoned for commercial development, though a small portion will
require an amendment to Sidney’s official community plan.

He said it’s too early in the process to determine who will build it, what it will look like or what it will cost.

“This is very much the first step. Where we go next is public consultation with the Town of Sidney, and we
will get feedback on what people’s visions and expectations might be,” he said.

Dickson said consultations will likely take place late in the year, with expectations the new structure could
be standing by late 2015 or early 2016.

Both partners stand to benefit financially from the development, with the airport reaping the reward of a
long-term lease and development of a portion of land that has long been identified as a key commercial site.

Sidney will get both additional tax revenue and a share in lease revenue.

aduffy@timescolonist.com

- See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/business/sidney-airport-to-develop-prime-site-for-town-gateway