Former Wellcox lands on City of Nanaimo waterfront.

Former Wellcox lands on City of Nanaimo waterfront.

South-end Nanaimo group opposes entertainment centre on waterfront

NANAIMO – Association unanimously votes against supporting proposed entertainment complex at Wellcox lands.

Nanaimo’s south end community association doesn’t want to see a sports and entertainment centre at 1 Port Dr.

The association unanimously voted to oppose an entertainment centre on the city-owned Wellcox property – one of two top sites consultants for the proposed complex – and wants council to reaffirm a public consultation process for the south downtown waterfront, which helped shape a vision for the lands.

The South Downtown Waterfront Initiative clearly showed no material support for a multiplex on the waterfront and most participants were against it, the association said in a press release. The process happened in 2013.

A website survey, which had 47 responses, showed a three-to-one ratio against the multiplex and the Harbour Fair, attended by 300 people, resulted in little or no support.

Neither did the multiplex appear in visions created by four groups in a three-day charette event, despite that they were tasked with considering one.

“The [South Downtown Waterfront Initiative] showed us the enormous potential for developing the waterfront lands in a way that serves all of the community and creates a vibrant centre for downtown,” said Sydney Robertson, a south-end association board member in the release. “We must not let this opportunity be wasted.”

Robertson used to live in east Vancouver and would cycle past what was then GM Place and said it was a dead zone. The vision for the south downtown waterfront includes mixed use, residential and retail, arts and culture and a transit hub.

“It’s a lively mix that we think would actually be used 365 days a year,” she said. “This event centre, they are saying it would be used 365 days a year, and I am not buying it.”

To see the reports on the south downtown waterfront, please visit