(Nicholas Pescod/The News Bulletin CruisePlus owners Dave Frinton, left, and Shelley Good stand out front of the company’s Lantzville office. CruisePlus is hoping to redevelop the property.

Lack of water an obstacle for downtown Lantzville redevelopment project

Lantzville council approves rezoning application for CruisePlus

A redevelopment project in downtown Lantzville is one step closer to becoming a reality, but it still has a long way to go.

Lantzville councillors approved a rezoning application for 7143 Caillet Rd., which is the headquarters for CruisePlus, a travel agency, during a council meeting on May 8.

The approval means CruisePlus is closer to being able to redevelop the property, which according to one of two proposals submitted to the district, calls for the demolition of the existing building and the construction of two brand new structures on the property.

Dave Frinton, co-president of CruisePlus, told the News Bulletin he would like to construct a new office building to meet the growing needs of his business as well as a second building that could be a mix of residential and commercial.

“To build a new building just as a retail [building] for us is probably a bit of a stretch,” he said. “The idea of building some condos and either selling them off or renting them or a combination of both would probably be a good long-term thing.”

Frinton said constructing a residential building on the property would provide a second revenue stream for the business and provide a better return on investment.

“Basically it would make a lot more sense for us,” he said. “You take it all it on and you only have one source of income to pay for everything.”

Although Lantzville councillors approved rezoning the property, Frinton remains cautious about the project.

“Lantzville has a funny habit about talking about development but then not really pulling it off,” he said. “So, who knows if there is resistance to it. Really, we’re not doing a lot. It’s a very small project.”

A major obstacle that Frinton and the development is facing is a lack of accessible water for the property. According to a recent report to council, Lantzville does not have the ability to provide additional water to the site for redevelopment. The proposal must not increase the size of the existing service for residential use, according to the report.

“If we don’t have water, we can’t do anything,” Frinton said. “[The district] basically said you can build whatever you want as far as an office building and there is going to be enough water for that and one residential.”

Frinton is also wary about building something that offers more retail space to a community that has an abundance of commercial space for lease.

“We could build quite a large office if we wanted to but I am a little nervous about retail in Lantzville at this point. There is a lot of space available in Lantzville for retail,” he said. “Before we commit to this thing we want to make sure we’ve got an option to cover ourselves with a more reliable income, i.e. rental.”

A public hearing has been scheduled for June 12 at 7 p.m. at Lantzville’s district hall.

nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

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