EDITORIAL: Colwood Corners may rise again

Near completion of deal for former Capital City Centre site spells good news for Colwood

The final chapter has yet to be written in the unhappy story of League Assets, its disintegration and the financial hit taken by its many levels of investors.

But word that a $17.5-million bid by Vancouver development company Onni Group to purchase the spun-off portion of League’s assets at the former Capital City Centre has been approved by the B.C. Supreme Court came as good news to the City of Colwood and its taxpayers.

Not only does the complex restructuring deal call for secured creditors such as the city – owed roughly $700,000 in unpaid property taxes –  to be paid out first, it could well breathe new life into the original vision for Colwood Corners as a residential and commercial hub for the city.

The tentative deal opens the possibility to restart a project left as an eyesore when League pulled the plug in 2013. A part of Onni’s bid proposal that we particularly like is the extra $8.9 million injection of cash, designed to provide at least some payback for the numerous unsecured creditors left in a lurch by League’s bankruptcy. Those investors, owed roughly $135 million, deserve to share in this good news, even if it’s a small portion of their original investments.

To us it not only shows good faith by Onni in the future of the project, but good corporate citizenship, the kind Colwood can use right now to remind other potential investors the city is a good place to do business.

While the $250,000 non-refundable bid deposit paid by Onni to be part of the process is a cost of doing business for such a company, we see that as another sign they are serious about making a project work at this location.

Just what Onni’s plan for the site might be has yet to be determined. But as a deep-pocketed company experienced in all facets of development, from residential to commercial, they are the kind of partner Colwood should be able to work with to create the kind of centrepiece long desired for this high-profile area of the West Shore.