Updated: New look proposed for Nelson Landing
The proposed Nelson Landing housing development is back, with a new look aimed at opening up the city’s east waterfront with public amenities.
Storm Mountain Development Corporation in Vancouver picked up the abandoned project last September. The company’s CEO, Allard Ockeloen, was familiar with the Nelson Landing from having worked as the project’s chief financial officer under former owner David Sorenson of Sorenson Fine Homes.
Ockeloen was at a Nelson city council meeting Monday to share his new vision for the project, which will require zoning changes and therefore a public consultation process.
The new owner scrapped the Venetian style, over-water condos that Sorenson had designed to extend on piers into Kootenay Lake. Instead, the new design shows a waterfront patio and mixed use buildings, as well as a 38-slip marina.
“I envision a cafe moving into the commercial space to serve people sitting on the pier,” Ockeloen said. “It will be a place people can slow down and take their time there.”
He suggested the area could become a commercial hub for all the new high density residential developments going in along the east boarder of Nelson, such as The Grain and Radio 7.
However that portion of the project will come in one of the later phases of the project. The first phase, which Ockeloen hopes to break ground on this year, is limited to construction of five of the original Sorensen triplexes (15 units) along the waterfront, as well as some site access roads, parking and bank stabilization along the water.
Ockeloen stressed that commitments made by the previous owner — including donating Red Sands beach to the city to be maintained as a municipal park and not building on the bluffs overlooking that clothing-optional beach — would be honoured. As well as using local building materials and labour, and incorporating public art.
He also wants to add more variety in housing styles to break up the solid line of homes originally proposed, which he said would have “created an imposing wall of concrete and garages” for residents that don’t have a lake view.
“I’d like to create pocket neighbourhoods on the site, with every home looking onto a green space,” he said.
Ockeloen is now working with city staff to create a rezoning application for the site, which will be shared with the public at an open house in the coming months.
“I think we have a significant opportunity with this development to attract new residents to Nelson,” Ockeloen said. “It will also be a place current residents can move to, to stay in the community, if they are looking for this type of product.”
Nelson Landing is slated for 12.5 acres of former Kootenay Forest Products land and three acres of crown land that still needs to be acquired by the developer.
Councillor Donna Macdonald asked Ockeloen whether affordable housing units could be incorporated into the site.
Ockeloen said the cost of remediating the land would be too expensive to justify low-cost housing on the site, but said contributions would be made into the affordable housing fund to subsidize other units in town.