South-end Nanaimo property slated for development

A historical and potentially spooky piece of property in the city’s south end is slated for redevelopment.

Plans have been submitted for redevelopment of 925 Harbour View St., a 0.40-hectare property that was once the site of a house known as the Hunt Estate.

Bruce Anderson, City of Nanaimo manager of planning and design, said the property is in the process of being rezoned and the developer, whose name was not provided to the News Bulletin, is planning to build a series of multi-family homes on the site. The plans also call for development at 901 Harbour View St.

“They’ve got a mix purposed of small lot, row house and a couple of small sites that would allow for multi-family, like townhouse or apartment,” Anderson said. “And there is some park being dedicated … as part of the subdivision process.”

There is little known about the Hunt Estate, which burned down in 1950s. The estate was occupied by John Hunt, a mine manager, until 1939 when he retired.

“Because the house was outside of the City of Nanaimo’s limits, there were very limited records kept in those days,” said Christine Meutzner, manager of the Nanaimo Community Archives.

John Hunt’s grandson, Brian, said his grandfather lived with his second wife, Hazel, who was known to be a psychic, in the estate.

“She [Hazel] on a number of occasions was aware or predicted things that would happen, including the death of my older brother … he died at the age of 10 months of crib death,” Hunt said.

A second house on the property burnt to the ground in 2008 and over the years people have come to believe that the house was haunted as various people reported seeing ghosts on the property.

Anderson said the final reading on the rezoning process could take place as early as August.

“They are completing the conditions on the rezoning, which included registering a covenant on the property that has obligations for them to complete before they get subdivision or ultimately building permits on the property,” he said.

A park is also planned, which Hunt is hoping can be named in honour of his grandfather and include a historical piece about the property.

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