City takes possession of Oceanview properties in tax sale

Two properties at Oceanview Resort and Golf Course, formerly Cable Bay, was purchased by the city last Monday at a tax sale after the property's owner, Canadian Property Investments, failed to pay about $100,000 in taxes over the past three years.

Property that was scheduled to be the site of a sprawling golf resort is now in the City of Nanaimo’s hands.

Two properties at Oceanview Resort and Golf Course, formerly Cable Bay, was purchased by the city last Monday at a tax sale after the property’s owner, Canadian Property Investments, failed to pay about $100,000 in taxes over the past three years.

The city purchased the 24-hectare parcel at 1170 Phoenix Way as well as the 36.5-hectare parcel at 1270 Phoenix Way. Those properties were recently assessed at $2.3 million and $3.4 million respectively.

The upset price was $39,858.62 for 1170 Phoenix Way and $60,990.12 for 1270 Phoenix Way, said Laura Mercer, spokeswoman for the city’s finance department.

“They have one year to pay off all of the taxes owing and then they can get the property back,” she said.

The city routinely purchases properties at the annual tax sale, both residential and commercial, to give the owners an opportunity to keep their property and pay their taxes. The city’s goal, Mercer said, is to collect the taxes rather than have the property transferred.

Kim Richard, spokesman for Canadian Property Investments, said that the company intends to move forward with the project once the economic climate improves.

Canadian Property Investments purchased the entire 190-hectare piece of land for about $5 million and tried to flip it last year for $60 million with no takers.

The project was the subject of controversy in 2008 when its owners applied to move Nanaimo’s urban containment boundary to accommodate the design for the 18-hole golf course. That move was defeated through an alternative approval process.

The property was successfully rezoned, however, into resort land, which many residents said compromised the Official Community Plan.

The plan for the resort includes 2,677 multi-density housing units, an 18-hole golf course, spa, hotel and retail centre.

Last November, a company spokesman said it would need to finance about $80 million and the housing market would need to improve before it moved ahead with the project.

reporter2@nanaimobulletin.com