With council’s approval of the multi-million dollar development project at Mons last week, plans for the site are beginning to fall into place, according to developer Steve Bayly.
“It’s unfortunate we lost the summer building season but we’re underway with constructing the access road and we’ll get that built as much as we can before the snow flies,” he said.
The project, which will transform the Mons area off Highway 99 into an industrial, transportation and recreation hub, was five years in the making and received third reading from Whistler’s previous council in 2009, typically the last step before municipal approval.
However, council sent the project back to staff in August for more information on the site’s allowable uses and the size of its potential build out, leading Bayly and his partner Nigel Woods to threaten legal action against the municipality for over $2 million they spent trying to meet the Whistler planning department’s requirements.
The two sides came back to the table in the weeks that followed, and an information report was provided to council that allayed their earlier concerns, before the bylaws were adopted last Tuesday (Oct. 2).
The development team can now move ahead on gathering potential tenants for the new site.
“We’re talking to a bunch of other people that we couldn’t really get commitments from before we had the zoning, so we’re dealing with them right now,” said Bayly.
Coastal Mountain Excavations will house a facility at Mons, moving from its current location in Function Junction, and Whistler Connection, a local transportation company, has plans to store some of its buses there.
Woods is the current president of Coastal Mountain Excavations, an award-winning heavy construction company.
Bayly said that he hopes the site will include “other bus operators, taxis, as well as a bunch of yards for landscapers and other construction companies” and even “an indoor bike facility” in five years time.
While Bayly is glad that the project is finally moving ahead, he expressed frustrations with a law that prevents councillors from speaking about any bylaw between its third reading and final approval
“We’d like to have had a situation where we could have showed (council) where we were at, and what we were doing along the way. From the summer of ’09 to 2012, we weren’t allowed to talk to anybody,” he said.
Construction on the Mons area site is set to begin next spring, said Bayly.