Tides of change coming to Oak Bay Marina
Published Tuesday, October 20, 2020 9:10AM PDT Last Updated Tuesday, October 20, 2020 1:02PM PDT
The Oak Bay Marina entrance on Oct. 19, 2020. (CTV News)
VICTORIA -- Created nearly sixty years ago, the Oak Bay Marina’s lease is set to expire at the end of 2022.
The municipality has put out a request for proposals (RFP) for the marina and Turkey Head Point area.
The District of Oak Bay wants to reimagine the property, creating a “vital” and “happening” place that will make better use of the land for current generations; and leave a positive legacy for future generations.
Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch wouldn’t comment on exactly what the municipality wants to see so as to avoid influencing the RFP process already underway.
“The District wishes to attract environmentally responsible proposals that enhance community amenity value, make better use of the land (less surface area devoted to parking), and make the property more lively and more of a destination to a wider range of users,” according to the RFP on the district’s website.
The long-term lease arrangement with a successful proponent would be subject to the province granting a renewed 30-year lease of related water and foreshore areas.
“There’s three aspects to the RFP,” Murdoch said. “There’s the technical aspects which have to meet the actual operational needs of a marina and the buildings and the pieces that are there. There’s a community amenities piece, so that would be sorts of enhancements to the public areas or other aspects. And then, of course, the financial, which is what’s the financial return for the municipality going to be.”
Residents will be able to weigh in on the public amenities portion of the project once all the proposals have been submitted and reviewed in the new year.
Proposals should be sustainable, environmentally responsible projects, respectful of First Nations culture, language and traditions.
“We’re looking for what’s next for the next 30 years on the entirety of that land, the parking lot, the buildings and the docks,” said Murdoch.
“It’s a very compelling piece of property for our community and for the region; both from a marine use perspective and as a point of interest along a scenic route.”
Proponents will not be permitted to reduce the dock space and nearly 400 slips without permission from the district. The floats and slips are owned by the Oak Bay Marine Group but under the terms of the contract, Oak Bay can buy them at fair market value at the end of the lease.
Currently, there’s a restaurant, coffee shop and several other businesses on site.
Murdoch said there has been much interest in the property and he is hoping for lots of innovative ideas for the future of area. The RFP deadline is Nov. 30.