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Haney log sorting site vacant
The first step in the dream of a Coal Harbour-type of development in Maple Ridge has been taken, but it’s going to be years before hammers swing and building begins.
Canadian Overseas Group, in 2012, pitched a marina, boardwalk, apartment towers, shops and a park beside the Fraser River on the site of its former log-sort operation next to Haney Wharf.
With that log sorting site now vacant, or soon to be, the company can decide the property’s ultimate fate.
Overseas Group president Ron Andersen said the company has bought a new log-sorting site on the Stave River, close to its Andersen Pacific Forest Products sawmill. That will make moving logs from area woodlots and community forests to the mill more efficient.
“We’re just exploring our options. If we were to do something different there, it would take some time,” Andersen said Wednesday.
The company, though, is cleaning up the eight-acre property, which still has equipment on it and could be used this summer for loading timber from barges for further sorting before shipping to mills along the Fraser River.
But it’s going to be a slow process on deciding the future of the land, sandwiched between the CP Rail mainline and the river. The company won’t rush into a decision, said Andersen.
“We’re not 100 per cent sure. At this point, we’ve had some interest from some various industrial users.”
Also remaining to be determined is whether the company will sell the property to a developer or build its own project.
Anderson sees the potential of the property.
“There’s so much you can do down there. It’s a picturesque forefront for the municipality of Maple Ridge. It would only make sense, in the long term, that that property be developed into something special for the municipality.”
He added there are beautiful views of the river and Mount Baker from the land farther east near Kanaka Creek Regional Park.
The company has been on the Fraser River site for 50 years and Anderson can’t recall the river flooding on to the dry area of it.
Maple Ridge’s manager of development and environmental services, Chuck Goddard, said not all of the waterfront land belongs to Northview. A strip created by river deposits along the shore, he said, could be used as a nature walkway to connect Haney Wharf to Kanaka Creek Regional Park.
“There’s a whole bunch of land to the front which has been developed over the years by the river movement, and that could easily be park,” Goddard added.
“That’s a major goal for us and the region to get a foreshore walkway.”
That likely will be part of the company’s overall strategy.
Goddard said other cities such as New Westminster, Vancouver and Port Coquitlam build similar projects along the river, although the technical requirements are extensive.
The company also owns as small piece of land on the river just west of Haney Wharf and recently discussed a shore side condo project there with the district’s planning department.
Goddard admitted it would be a squeeze putting in a development, but added there’s more land to the east.
“It will be unfolding over a long period of time.”