The owners of the Pendray House in Colwood are looking for a partner to purchase the property and turn it into something that serves the community.
The property is currently owned by Pacific Landing and as the house dates back to the 1800s, maintaining the heritage is important to them and the City of Colwood.
Emily Royer, Pacific Landing director of sales, marketing and operations, said the property is not for sale in the traditional sense. Pacific Landing is looking for a business partner, but using a traditional approach to get the word out.
Pendray House is listed for $2.25 million on realtor.ca.
The site is nearly 12 acres, but only seven of that can be developed and Royer said the vision of preserving the building is still the same from when Pacific Landing bought the property a decade ago.
“The essence of the building is what we want to preserve,” she said. “Anyone we work with would be required to do the same.”
Pendray House was rezoned in 2009 to permit construction of a mixed-use residential and commercial development and another zoning amendment was made in 2015.
Royer said neighbours have expressed interest in using the building as a destination restaurant or pub to compliment the community, adding Pacific Landing is looking for a partner who would purchase the property, do improvements to get the building up to code and operate the pub.
Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton said they were informed of the sale of the property before the last council meeting at the beginning of July.
“Council will do whatever it takes to protect it,” she said.
Iain Bourhill, director of planning with the City of Colwood, said that council endorsed a recommendation that Pacific Landing supports, to create a covenant that protects the heritage value.
That means Pacific Landing would have to get a strata title conversion before the sale of the property and “through that process, an approving officer can invoke a public interest in the location being protected,” Bourhill said.
A report by the City of Colwood on heritage preservation of the Pendray House, noted another option that needs further investigation is to draft a bylaw designating Pendray House as a protected heritage property.
Designating it as a heritage building would have potential cost implications to the City and then there were concerns around potential flooding if sea levels rise.
Bourhill said reports show that there could be a one metre ocean rise in the next 50 to 100 years and if it affected Pendray House the City would be responsible for compensating the owner at that time for loss of potential use if it was designated as a heritage building.
For now, both parties are on board with changing strata title before it’s sold.
“We’re working collaboratively, working together with them to achieve that, if that changes, there are other available options,” Bourhill said.