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Gibsons Developments - Parkland, its Mews, and Gospel Rock
10-05-2013, 07:51 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-11-2013, 11:26 AM by Skook.)
Gibsons Developments - Parkland, its Mews, and Gospel Rock
In this thread, I’ll be looking at 2½ developments. Did I say ½ a development? Well, it’s actually a small development, The Mews on Gerussi Lane, within the much larger Parkland development. I will begin with those two and Gospel Rock will be discussed briefly at the end of the post.

I haven’t been ignoring Gibsons it is just that there really aren’t many “substantial” developments within it to discuss. The town is actually quite small covering an area of 4.32 sq km (1.68 sq mi) with a population of 4,437 (2011). Much of the growth in the area is occurring outside but next to the town boundaries to the west, north and north east within the regional districts of Elphinstone (Area E) and West Howe Sound (Area F).

[Image: attachment.php?aid=469]

I am sure that at some point down the road, Gibsons will absorb Area E and a portion of Area F and become a District onto itself like Sechelt. The map in my early post, ‘Local Government - The Sunshine Coast Regions’ will help put this into perspective. The remainder of Area F could then be added to Area D. But, this ‘rationalization’ is in the future and I needn’t concern myself with it.

So, Parkland is Gibsons newest subdivision that when fully developed will one day cover 11.98 ha (29.6ac). It is located in what the locals call “Upper Gibsons” because it’s up on the plateau beyond and west of the bay area. The development area like the rest of the plateau has primary aggregate potential (click and scroll for map); a fact totally irrelevant but I threw it in because I haven`t talked about gravel in a long time.

The composite image below shows the subdivision location and what can be found nearby (upper left); the project’s planned phases (upper right); an early representation of how the development should evolve (lower left); a more detailed site map (lower middle); and, an actual Phase 1 site map at the time the lots went to market (lower right).
[Image: attachment.php?aid=470]

That initial large site map in the middle with one area outlined in orange shows the initial extent of Phase 1; however, the developer, Gibsons businessman Blane Hagedorn, decided to scale it back to north of the green belt which I have coloured ‘green’ on the site map. The green belt shows as the two narrow rectangular lots at the bottom of the Phase 1 site map on the right.

So, Phase 1 is concentrated around the entrance to the subdivision which is off Payne Rd onto Woodsworth Rd. The lot colouring of Phase 1 indicates three types of zoning: purple for 2-family (duplex), blue for multi-family (cluster) and yellow for single family. What struck me when I first looked at this development in late spring was the way the development was marketed. It soon became obvious the developer had no intention of building spec homes. I think he took a good look at other developments on the coast and decided he wasn't prepared to take on the financial risk. Therefore, the lots would be marketed to builders (to “showcase your designs”) and to the average buyer (to “build your own dream home).

This marketing was also applied to the multi-family lots; for example, the 2-family lots (duplex) numbered 1 - 8. Here is the listing write-up for Lots 2 and 4 on Gerussi Lane:

Quote:…duplex lot offers excellent investment opportunity for builders and homeowners. Build 2 homes and sell both or keep one for yourself; OR build your dream home with a carriage house or seperate [sic] nanny suite for a mortgage helper.. Act quickly to choose the best lot for your lifestyle…

And, here is the listing write-up for Lots 6 (Gerussi Lane), 7 and 8 (Woodsworth Rd):

Quote:This duplex lot is one of the 3 largest of 8 zoned for 2 homes, has Southern exposure and great access. Excellent opportunity for builders to showcase their designs or for a homeowner wishing a great lot for a home and carriage house. Act quickly to choose the lot that suits your lifestyle…

This is the reason why we find a small strata development of single detached homes, The Mews, within the larger Parkland development. The Mews (7 homes) has been built on the cluster-zoned lots 26 & 27. Lot 25 also appears to have been sold according to one version of the site map but I don’t know when or if it was to the same builder.

Now, there is something totally unique about this Phase 1, Parkland development. It is the first subdivision in Canada to offer geothermal heating to all homes. This September 1, 2010 Coast Reporter story, ‘Gibsons’ geoexchange holds promise, risk’, explains how the system works. The tennis courts located in the development’s Phase 1 Park play a significant role in the geoexchange system and those courts were officially ‘handed over’ to the town by the developer in a June, 2013 ceremony.

The composite image below shows three single detached home and one duplex unit built for Parkland as well as the Geoexchange Plant and tennis courts. Below these we can see the homes built for ‘The Mews on Gerussi Lane’.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=475]

There are seven single detached homes in The Mews strata and the courtyard allows units 1, 4 and 6 to access their garages. The homes have been listed since June 10, 2013. The “official” development unveiling was in August and the builder threw in an enticement to spur sales - a marketing ploy now commonly used by lower mainland developers.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=472]

As of today, October 5, the car remains on the dealer’s lot - not one home in The Mews has sold and, in fact, the listing prices on five of the homes have been reduced.

In the spreadsheet below, you can see how Parkland’s Phase 1 has fared: 5 duplex lots and 7 single family lots remain unsold and the list price has been reduced on five of those single home lots. Of the few single family homes built and sold, one has now been placed back on the market - 1048 Woodsworth Rd, listed June 31st.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=474]

(Note: the Phase 1 site map with the spreadsheet is from 2011. You would be amazed how many different versions of this map exist on agent websites and uploaded to the lot and home listings.)

It should be noted that when the development was presented before Gibsons Town Council for zoning, it was done so as an ‘affordable’ housing alternative. However, in early 2012, the developer went before council, again, to say that the Geothermal heating was having a definite impact on pricing and the details can be found in this Coast Reporter story, ‘Developer criticizes Gibsons bylaws’.

The developer entered into a covenant with the Town to supply six affordable housing units in return for higher density zoning and in April, 2013 Councillors finally settled on a price for those units. The details are in this Coast Reporter story, ‘Price set for six affordable housing units’. These will be duplex units such as those found on Gerussi Lane and Hagedorn says they will be built as soon as the Town finds him the customers.

As for the future of this development, it wouldn't make much sense to me to see it proceed any further given the state of Phase 1 sales and the overall market conditions on the Coast; but, then again, I wouldn't have thought the Sangaras would push ahead with Phase 1 of their upland development in Sechelt. So, what do I know.


Gospel Rock

It has been a long, drawn out battle between those wanting to develop and those wanting to protect this unique area of Gibsons. It was an issue constantly in the news over the years I lived on the coast and given the amount of ink spent on it already, I will not rehash it all again here. For anyone wishing to delve into on their own, a Google search will bring up enough pages to keep you occupied for days.

The current developer threw in the towel after Gibsons Council shocked all parties with its October 19, 2012 unanimous vote that removed any present and future housing development along the Gospel Rock waterfront by designating it as ‘green space.’ Given that the developer had that waterfront area earmarked for prime money producing lots to be developed and sold first, he probably felt there was little chance he would ever make a buck on the project once those lots disappeared. Further details can be read in this Coast Reporter story, ‘Waterfront housing cut from Gospel Rock plan'.

Gospel Rock is the undeveloped promontory that greets anyone travelling up from Vancouver via the Salish Sea (indicated on first map above). The 46.7 acre property is listed for $5,750,000 and MacDonald Commercial Realty has put together a nice brochure which can be downloaded from its website. The land is also listed with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

If a moral could be derived from attempts to develop Gospel Rock, it would be this: a developer should always think twice about developing land that the locals refer to in biblical terms. The locals will fight it every step of the way and will not give up until ‘hell freezes over’ and the ‘day of judgement’ arrives. You've been warned.


There is an additional post that mentions the lands of Gospel Rock. It can be found here.

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Gibsons Developments - Parkland, its Mews, and Gospel Rock - by Skook - 10-05-2013, 07:51 PM

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