Kensington Union Bay Properties vice-president Brian McMahon. Photo by Scott Strasser.

Kensington Union Bay Properties vice-president Brian McMahon. Photo by Scott Strasser.

Union Bay Estates project unveiled

The 850-acre project aims to bring nearly 3,000 residential units to Union Bay

Sporting a new name, Kensington Union Bay Properties unveiled its long-awaited development plans for Union Bay at the Kingfisher Spa and Resort on March 1.

The initiative — Union Bay Estates — is an 850-acre real estate and commercial development project proposed for the Union Bay area.

“The project itself is going to be a game-changer for the community,” said Kensington vice-president Brian McMahon, who added the initiative is the largest development plan on Vancouver Island north of Victoria.

“It’s going to be a game-changer for the Comox Valley as a whole.”

The project, which has already been in the works for many years, promises 2,949 residential units featuring multi and single-family residences, as well as both retirement and affordable housing units.

When ultimately completed, the multi-phase development could bring the population of Union Bay to between 7,500 and 9,000. Roughly 1,200 people live there currently.

Read More: Kensington Island Properties provides $250,000 to homelessness support agencies

Alongside the housing provisions, Kensington aims to bring several commercial and social amenities to Union Bay.

At the launch event on Thursday, McMahon mentioned possible provisions for a pharmacy, a walk-in clinic, a movie theatre, hotels, and a bank.

“We’ve had discussions with people who are interested in pursuing these things,” he said.

The company is also donating parcels of land to the Union Bay Improvement District for its new water treatment plant and a fire hall.

McMahon also said the company will commit land to School District 71 for a new school.

“If we’ve got 2,949 new homes coming in, there’s going to be the need for a new school again,” he said.

Development 20 years in the making

Previously known as Kensington Island Properties, the company purchased more than 1,000 acres of land in Union Bay in the late 1990s, with the long-term goal of building a golf course, a marina walkway, a water filtration system and housing developments for the community.

Read More: Kensington Island still in limbo

But due to several political and regulatory hurdles over the years — as well as a few legal battles — none of the projects have yet been realized.

McMahon says despite the rocky past, the “stars have aligned” this time around. He brought up revisions to the company’s Master Development Agreement with the Comox Valley Regional District, which were approved in December 2017.

Read More: Revised master development agreement gives green light to Union Bay development

“Everything is approved now. Before, we had ongoing hurdles we kept trying to overcome. Everything has improved,” he said.

Next steps

Before construction of any of the housing units can occur, Kensington will have to supply a wastewater treatment facility in order to service the projects.

“We have to get the wastewater treatment plant up and running before we can sell any homes,” he said. “In order to do that, we need to get the pipes in the ground, we need to get roads built. We were meeting this morning talking about where the pipes are going to go.”

McMahon said the company has applied to the Ministry of Environment to begin work on implementing a wastewater treatment facility.

“That application is in the process,” he said.

McMahon added the goal is to possibly begin construction on homes by summer 2019.

“Before that, there will be roads, pipes put in the ground. There will be all the underground servicing going in,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Coastal Fire Centre is looking ahead to the wildfire season on Vancouver Island. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)
Coastal Fire Centre looking ahead at wildfire season on Vancouver Island

‘We’re asking people in the spring to be very careful’

The Connect Warming Centre is located at 685 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay. File photo
Potential new space for Courtenay warming centre falls through

The Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness had hoped to move the… Continue reading

A rendering shows an “mini urban bazaar” for very small businesses proposed in Cumberland. Image, Cumberland staff report
Cumberland considers microbusiness hub downtown

Applicant will have to host online or outdoor meeting for public input

From left - Rev. Sulin Milne, rector of St Peter’s, Karen Cummins and Bill Henderson of Nature Comox Valley pose for a photo with the newly-planted Garry oak tree. Photo supplied
Young Garry oak planted at St. Peter’s church gardens as a sign of resiliency

By Tony Reynolds Special to The Record St Peter’s Anglican Church, Comox,… Continue reading

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Canadian driver Paul Tracy pulls out of the pits during the morning session at the Molson Indy in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, July 26, 2003 (CP/Richard Lam)
Vancouver is considering hosting a Formula E race using electric cars

The race would be part of a three-day event focused on climate and sustainability

Chart from the April 20 B.C. budget shows sharp dip in real estate sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the even steeper climb since late 2020. (B.C. government)
Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

B.C. budget boosts tobacco, sweet drinks, carbon taxes

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
BC Fruit Growers’ Association gives thumbs up to provincial budget

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

Some Saanich firefighters have expressed concerns about first responders in the Island Health Region not being prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as an outbreak at a fire station would make service delivery a challenge. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Some Island firefighters not prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine despite working on frontlines

Saanich members express frustration, department calls on Island Health to take action

Most Read