Skip to content

Waterfront project proposed for qathet region in limbo

Property targeted for wellness resort, eco-hub and residential units offered to another developer
IN JEOPARDY: A development at Brew Bay that was to feature a wellness resort, eco-hub and residential component is in jeopardy because the Brew Bay property identified for the project has been offered for sale to another developer.

A proposal to construct the Brew Bay Village development project, featuring a wellness resort, eco-hub and residential units, is facing a major hurdle.

At the April 12 qathet Regional District planning committee meeting, directors heard a presentation from Judeline Tyabji, founder of Veda Canada, who served as spokesperson for the project that now finds itself in limbo, with the oceanfront site and water lot that was planned for the development having been offered to another developer.

The property the group wanted to acquire had been put up for sale, with LandQuest Realty Corporation listed as the agent for the property. According to the listing on the LandQuest website, the 184-acre site and 11-acre water lot went on the market for $12.9 million. The website states the property has about 4,000 feet of waterfront.

Tyabji said she was appearing before the planning committee to talk about a project for the property she started four years ago.

“Four years ago, I began working with a company called GOCO Hospitality, which is a world leader for wellness hospitality development and alternative health care,” added Tyabji. “Alternative is now becoming common for people to go to natural boosting of the immune system. GOCO Hospitality has been doing that for 30 years.

“The concept that I took to them was to bring ayurveda, from India, traditional Chinese medicine, and naturopathy, to the Powell River region, specifically, qathet, because the official community plan is nature, heritage and wellness. So, you take the very best of the pristine natural environment and you bring the very best of the world’s responses to lifestyle.”

Tyabji said GOCO signed on to bring something to qathet about two and a half years ago.

She then outlined a second company involved with the project called HP Kapital out of London, England. It is a world leader with many projects in alternative building technology, she added.

Project still alive, says spokesperson

Tyabji said the proposed project was about US $250 million in value and would be the single largest change in the local economy seen since the paper mill. She said there are many people who would like to see a move away from the primary, extractive economy, and into a tertiary economy, built on wellness and protecting nature.

Tyabji had originally requested representatives of GOCO and HP to attend the planning meeting but asked them not to virtually because on the morning of the meeting, the offer she put in for the Brew Bay property acquisition was not accepted.

“A different, conventional developer has been given an opportunity to develop on that property,” said Tyabji. “The project is still alive, but it may not come to Powell River now, which is unfortunate.”

Tyabji said international players are agnostic to location, but she is not.

“I really wanted this for Powell River,” added Tyabji. “It would create at least 200 jobs and a lot of spinoffs. We saw this as an enormous opportunity to create new jobs and a whole new economy.”

Tyabji said the entire oceanfront had been set aside in plans and more than the riparian zone to protect the Lang Bay hatchery, which is a fundamental part of the vision. She said an eco-hub and marine conservation centre were part of the plans.

“The plan is still there,” said Tyabji. “If someone in Powell River has a different location, I would much rather be in qathet.”

Tyabji said the original reason for asking for the meeting with the planning committee was to ask for a letter from the regional district, not specifically to support the concept, but to assist the developers in unlocking the financing from HP by explaining on paper the role of the local government in the building permitting process.

“They have a hard time understanding it because they have never seen it before,” said Tyabji. “I’m still going to ask for the letter. There is always a chance that even if there’s an accepted offer, that it won’t pass. I have all the financing for the acquisition and the entire build-out of the project.

“There also may be somebody sitting on property in qathet. It would always be my first choice to bring this home, to let Powell River be exactly what it should be, the most beautiful place in the world.”

Roddan responds

Regional district manager of planning services Laura Roddan said what Tyabji was asking for was a “comfort letter.” Roddan said she had provided a couple of letters to the development group, so she was not entirely clear on the parameters of the letter that was being requested.

“Since another offer has been accepted, I’m not sure the letter is required,” said Roddan.

Tyabji said she was not asking for a letter of support, but the developers were being asked for clarity that there would be no local approval, assuming building would be outside of the riparian zone and there was conformance with the higher levels of governments’ requirements. She said there are two other properties in the qathet region that may be good for this project, and if the offer on the property doesn’t complete, the letter would be needed for HP.

Electoral Area C director Clay Brander, who chairs the planning committee, and Electoral Area D director Sandy McCormick, both expressed concerns about the letter. Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne started to make a motion for a letter as requested by Tyabji, but it was not completed, so there was no motion for the letter as requested.


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks