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Mayor says Sino Bright land sale falling through would be ‘sad if it’s true’

POWELL RIVER, B.C. – Powell River Mayor Dave Formosa said it would be “sad” if the Sino Bright land sale fell through.

On Friday, Powell River Waterfront Development Corporation (PRWDC) president Wayne Brewer told the newsroom that he was waiting for word from by Sino Bright Investments Ltd. on how they plan to move forward – or not move forward – with the deal.

Last month, the PRWDC accepted an offer by Sino Bright Investments Ltd. to purchase 10 acres of land next to Brooks Secondary for the development of an International School Campus.

The sale was subject to the successful subdivision and rezoning of the property, which was to be done at the buyer’s expense.

Brewer told the newsroom that the deal was in jeopardy due to, he said, members of the public alleging lack of transparency and backroom dealings.

Today, Formosa said that he hasn’t heard anything of yet regarding the sale.

“I did hear from the superintendent of School District 47 that they anticipated that Sino Bright would be sending a letter to the Waterfront Development Corporation re: pulling out of the land sale,” Formosa said.

“That’s about all I know.”

Formosa said if the land deal falls through it would be “sad if it’s true.”

“We’ve worked very hard trying to woo Sino Bright into Powell River to make an investment, here,” the mayor said. “International school education in general is one of the pillars of our economic revitalization plan. And it’s just sad that some things on social media somehow ended up getting to… the owners of Sino Bright.”

According to Formosa, the comments on social media were contradictory to what was being presented to Sino Bright – that they were welcome in the community.

Formosa also spoke about the criticism that the land was sold on the cheap.

The property was to be subdivided out of the remaining 80 acres of Lot 2 DL 450 (the former golf course lands in the Townsite) for $300,000, with a planned completion date of Aug. 1.

“They did have an appraisal, although the appraisal was on the overall land and gave an amount per acre,” Formosa said. “I believe it was $20,000 and the board figured, okay ‘let’s jump it up to about 50 percent’ and they made it $30,000 an acre.”

After absorbing criticism, the board got an appraisal of just that parcel and the appraisal came in at between $280,000 and $320,000, Formosa said.

“At 300 (thousand), I think they came up with a reasonable price,” Formosa said. “What folks don’t understand, maybe, and maybe they do, is … it needs to be cleared and stumped and I know a minimum of $100,000 to do that… paying someone to pull all the stumps on the 10 acres and then hauling them away and paying to dispose of them… one to two grand more, and then there’s the issue of services.”

He also noted such things as road access issues, “so there’s a lot of unknowns.”

“I don’t think that the property was overvalued, and if it was undervalued, it would be very, very minimal, in my view,” Formosa said.

The newsroom has reached out to Brewer for an update.

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