The frantic pace of construction in Village North will come to an end next year — because virtually all of it will be built.
Municipal planning staff has received word from the various owners of the Village North parcels that they all plan on building next year. The only possible exceptions are Lot 9, a mixed use parcel which has yet to be offered for sale, and Lot 23 a hotel site which was offered for sale Oct. 5.
"If we get an acceptable offer (Lot 23) will be a 96 construction start, too," says George Millward, WLC's project manager.
An Indonesian firm was interested in Lot 23 — which allows up to 91,000 square feet of hotel space and 12,000 square feet of commercial/retail space — but the company has since backed out. Millward says another group is now interested in the property.
Among the Village North developments next year are: townhouses on Lots 26 and 27, owned by Appia Developments; townhouses on Lots 30 and 31, owned by Trilogy Development Corporation; A 73-suite condo-hotel on Lot 18, also owned by Trilogy; a Mark James brew pub and restaurant on Lot 8; a lodge on Lot 22; and 120 hotel/timeshare units on Lot 5, owned by United Properties.
Immediately north of Village North is Park Georgia's Whistler Racquet and Golf Resort. Next spring, the Vancouver-based company intends to build the first 40 of 125 townhouses planned for the resort. Park Georgia has also submitted an application to develop the golf facility, but vice president of construction Karl Miller says the golf facility won't be open before 1997.
Miller says there is "active interest" in the hotel which is also part of the racquet and golf resort, but no commitments have been made as to who will build the hotel or when.
In the village, work is scheduled to begin on a Pan Pacific Hotel next spring, on the two lots commonly known as the Waterslide property, at the foot of Whistler Mountain.
As well, work may finally begin on the hotel lot next to Blackcomb's Excalibur gondola base terminal.
Outside the village area, Greenside Property Inc. hopes to begin development of single family lots and an educational institution on the Whistler Campground site. However, the company is still involved in a legal battle over ownership of the land.
As many as 90 townhomes may be developed in the affordable housing project at Millar's Pond which was recently tendered.
Beyond that, the only sizeable development left is the 2,000 bed units Whistler Mountain still holds for the Whistler Creek and/or Function Junction areas. Blackcomb has a few parcels left on the Benchlands and there will be some townhouses built on the Nicklaus North golf course. The only other developments left which will add bed units are single family lots — and as of last week there were only 18 of those left for sale!
Whistler's ceiling on development, the 52,500 bed unit total, is rapidly approaching. To many, the end of construction, now in sight, is a relief — but it also holds tremendous consequences, such as an end to works and services charges which the municipality has collected on each development.
It may also mean that Whistler's already high real estate prices will go through the roof. However, new proposals for affordable housing — which would push Whistler's bed unit count beyond the 52,500 limit — may be considered under the Official Community Plan.
The municipal monitoring program, which tracks a variety of environmental, humanistic and development indicators, has been delayed a month while the information on this year's building spree is collected. The results of the program will be discussed at the second annual town hall meeting Nov. 12.