The Century Group stands to reap an enormous windfall if the municipality approves a mixed-use residential development on the controversial Southlands property.
A consultant's report for the Corporation of Delta recently made public looked at the land valuation of the Tsawwassen site if it was left entirely with its current agricultural designation as well as if the Century Group's development application was allowed. Century's proposal would see 80 per cent of the 215-hectare (537-acre) site given to Delta while the remaining 20 per cent would be developed with housing and mixed-use commercial.
According to the appraisal by Burgess Cawley Sullivan & Associations, the land is valued at $32,220,000 if left entirely agricultural, but would be worth $135,365,000 if the application were approved.
The report's authors note the appraisal was prepared exclusively for Corporation of Delta for negotiation purposes, so it remains to be seen if Delta could seek an even better deal from the applicant should a development of some kind be allowed.
Earlier this year, Century Group submitted a rezoning application for the first phase of what would be much larger development planned for the property. The first phase would see 14 hectares (35 acres) developed with 450 residential units in various forms and densities, including cottage-style and other smaller single-family houses, but primarily condos.
The next phase would see mostly single-family houses.
Once fully developed, the Southlands would have 950 housing units. The development also involves the transfer of 80 per cent of the property to Delta, working out to approximately 173.7 hectares (429 acres). Up to two-thirds of that donated land would be used for farming.
It's not clear what form that farming would be or how much the needed improvements would cost to bring that land into agricultural production.
The Century Group has owned the expansive property, bordered by Boundary Bay Road and 56th Street, since Tsawwassen Development Ltd. defaulted on what was reported to be an $18 million mortgage not long after a 1989 housing proposal failed.
The regional district acquired some of the land, located east of Boundary Bay Road, in the mid-1990s to expand Boundary Bay Regional Park, but since then not much has happened with the rest of the site.