First Nation plans yet another development project in Port Hardy

First Nation plans yet another development project in Port Hardy

The project's total budget is estimated around $24 million.

  • Sep. 26, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nation (GNN) has big plans for the town of Port Hardy. The nation recently submitted an application to BC Housing asking for funding to build a multifamily rental housing development.

GNN, under the Pathfinder Development Corporation, purchased 8905 Park Drive property, alongside a property the nation has rezoned for a Big House. GNN has also requested the District of Port Hardy’s mayor and council to write a letter of support in principle to BC Housing for the initiative.

The project’s total budget is estimated around $24 million.

The nation had incorporated the developer, Pathfinder Development Corporation, last Oct. 30 to manage the project. Project directors include Roger Nopper, band manager, and the nation’s councillors Darryl Coon and Leslie Walkus.

The property approximately spans a little under 800,000 square feet. The project is planned out in phases, which is dependent on available funding and resources. After completion, the nation hopes to have 100 units with an average size of 1,250 square feet of livable space.

The nation recently submitted an application to rezone the property in preparation of the project starting this coming March 2019.

The property is located across from the Kinsman pavilion and Tsulquate Park. The project will have been built with sustainable features as required by local bylaws.

In a special meeting earlier this month, Port Hardy council discussed the potential impacts of GNN’s project on local business. The nation applied for a rezoning application for the 8905 Park Drive property, which may have included commercial opportunities.

The property is currently designated as an R-2 Duplex Residential. After rezoning, it will have been designated as a CD-9 Comprehensive Development property, which would allow for duplexes, apartments, and community care facilities.

Councillors then discussed removing restaurants from the rezoning bylaw and setting size limits on commercial space, though nothing was set in stone.

While Port Hardy’s official community plan supports mixed residential-commercial opportunities, councillors continued to express concerns over other local businesses. Mayor and council also mulled over parking and traffic concerns that may result from the development.

North Island Gazette