Final Agreements signed for the Squamish Oceanfront Lands

The District of Squamish and the Squamish Oceanfront Development Corporation (SODC) have signed two important agreements required for the sale of the Oceanfront Lands. The District and SODC have agreed to terms with Matthews Southwest and Bethel Lands Corporation (MSB) on the Purchase and Sale Agreement and the Limited Partnership Agreement. MSB and the District will now begin work on the planning and infrastructure agreements required for construction activity to begin on the Oceanfront Lands.

“This is a great moment for Squamish,” says District of Squamish Mayor Rob Kirkham. “The transaction with Matthews Southwest and Bethel ensures that the community’s vision for the Oceanfront Lands will be created by a world class development group – starting with the Oceanfront Park. The payment terms will also ensure that the SODC debt is paid off with no risk to the taxpayers. Council unanimously supports this agreement as the best course for the community. All around – this is excellent news for Squamish.”

The highlights of the agreements include:

  • $15 million cash purchase price paid by MSB for the SODC Lands including a $1,000,000 deposit;
  • A partnership with MSB; the District retains a 25 per cent interest in the partnership with no financial risk;
  • MSB commits to building the existing Oceanfront Sub-Area Plan, which was established with extensive community involvement, with a 20-year timeframe for development;
  • Construction will proceed immediately following the completion of the transaction in April 2015, beginning with the Oceanfront park;
  • The on-site infrastructure will be paid for by the developer; the off-site infrastructure required to support the development, and the growing downtown, will be paid for up front by the developer, with costs recovered from future development over the 20-year build out. Tax payers will not be burdened with costs for the infrastructure.
  • Development of the SODC Lands will expedite the installation of required infrastructure and key upgrades to the downtown core;  
  • The District will continue as normal to build and maintain infrastructure and services for the rest of the community;
  • A final transaction completion date of April 2015; in the interim, completion of several planning and infrastructure agreements to be adopted by Council in order to meet the terms and conditions of the agreement.
  • Details of the Memorandum of Understanding, the Purchase and Sale Agreement and the Limited Partner Agreement are available for viewing and download from the SODC website.

The Purchase and Sale Agreement outlines the terms and conditions required for the land transaction to occur. This agreement is similar to other real estate transaction documents except it is for a larger and more complicated piece of property than most; the SODC Lands are composed of 10 individual parcels that will be combined in a single transaction. A list of terms and conditions will need to be satisfied prior to the completion of the transaction. Such conditions, for example, completion of an updated Development Cost Charge bylaw, Rezoning Bylaw, Community Amenity Policy, and Revitalization Tax Bylaw, will follow the usual Council process providing ample opportunity for formal public input. Stay tuned to the District’s communications channels for timing and further information.

The Limited Partnership Agreement provides the legal and working relationship between MSB and the District of Squamish for the new development company. This agreement outlines the formation of the limited partnership and addresses items such as governance and distribution of potential profits.

“Amazing things will happen at the Oceanfront. Squamish has the potential to become a world-class community and we are excited to be a key part in the community’s future,” says Jack Matthews, President, Matthews Southwest (MSW). Michael Hutchison, President of Bethel Lands Corporation (Bethel) adds, “An immense amount of work has gone into developing the vision for this project. We want to get to work on the site as soon as possible, once the planning and engineering work gets wrapped up in the next year.”

The District, SODC and MSB plan to host a community open house on Saturday, September 20 at the Oceanfront Offices. This will be an opportunity for the public to learn more about the development and join in the celebrations surrounding the Oceanfront agreements. More details will be provided by SODC in the weeks leading up to the date.

About MSB

Matthews Southwest is a developer whose roots began as a family business in Ontario, is now involved in projects in Canada, the USA and Mexico, and headquartered in Lewisville, Texas. With offices in Dallas, Calgary, and Mississauga, Ontario, MSW has extensive experience in the redevelopment of brownfield sites including Dallas’ South Side Development, and the recent completion of the $1.4 billion Bow development in Calgary.

Bethel is a Squamish-based development company who has been the principal behind a number of mid-sized projects in the Sea to Sky Corridor over the past decade. Such projects include: Amblepath subdivision, Quest University Residences; Cornerstone Professional Building; Crumpit Woods subdivision; Baxter Creek subdivision (Whistler); and the Sea to Sky Gondola.

View the Oceanfront Marketing Video which provides an overview of the Sub Area Plan.

August 5, 2014

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  • Peter Douglas Aug 20, 2014, 11:04 PM (7 years ago)

    Great news for a great city, one that will finally get to shine as bright as the other stars around her. Looking forward to bringing some of our ventures to the party and changing the world.

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