CHIEF ALSO A BUILDER
Vision Vancouver’s likely candidate for mayor is associated with at least $1 billion worth of properties primed for development.
When Ian Campbell declared his intention on Monday (May 14) to seek Vision’s nomination, he remained listed as a member of the board of the MST Development Corporation.
MST is the corporate entity that manages properties owned by a partnership of the Musqueam
Indian Band, the Squamish Nation, and the Tsleilwaututh Nation.
On its website, the company enumerates six “prime developable properties throughout Metro Vancouver” under its control.
Four are in Vancouver. These are the western portion of the Jericho Lands, which the First Nations partnership fully owns; the eastern side of the Jericho Lands, which is co-owned by the federal Canada Lands Company; the Heather Lands (between 33rd and 37th avenues), which used to be home of the RCMP headquarters in B.C. and are also co-owned by the Canada Lands Company; and the location of the former warehouse of the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch at 3200 East Broadway, which is co-owned with the Aquilini Investment Group.
The three First Nations also share ownership of the Marine Drive Lands in West Vancouver with the Canada Lands Company.
In addition, according to the company’s website, the Musqueam and Tsleil-waututh co-own the Willingdon Lands in Burnaby with the Aquilini Investment Group.
“It is anticipated that each of these properties would be subject to a multiyear, multi-phase planning process which will include opportunities for public input,” MST says.
Based on MST’S own estimate, these six properties, with a combined area of almost 65 hectares, are worth more than $1 billion.
Outside of these holdings, the Squamish Nation—of which Campbell is a hereditary chief and elected councillor—also owns a 4.5-hectare property at the foot of the Burrard Bridge in Vancouver. The Squamish have expressed interest in developing the site, which is adjacent to the Molson Coors brewery location that was purchased two years ago by Concord Pacific for $185 million.
Vision councillor Andrea Reimer introduced Campbell at the event where he announced his mayoral aspirations. Also there were Stepan Vdovine, former Vision executive director and now director of business development with property developer Amacon, and Mike Magee, a former chief of staff to Gregor Robertson.
The next day (May 15), an item included in city council’s agenda related to a proposed policy statement on the future development of the Heather Lands. Campbell’s name was mentioned twice in the report package submitted to council regarding the 8.5-hectare property.
“The vision for the Heather Lands is to create a sustainable new neighbourhood that will be a place to welcome and connect all people and cultures, and to share the traditions, cultures and values of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh Nations,” the staff report states.
The report notes that the Heather Lands will become a “primarily residential neighbourhood”. According to the report, the site is “large enough to sensitively accommodate taller buildings” up to 24 storeys.