Victoria’s Dockside Green project hits pause button

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Developer Joe Van Belleghem selling interest to Vancity

Carla Wilson

Joe Van Belleghem, a partner with Windmill Development group, with models of Phase 1 of the Dockside Green project. — VANCOUVER SUN FILES

Dockside Green, one of the highest-profile and most innovative developments on the south Island, will “take a pause” in the wake of the departure of developer Joe Van Belleghem.

Van Belleghem, the charismatic public face of Dockside, is selling his share of the mixed-use project in Vic West to partner Vancity Savings Credit Union. Vancity will assume 100-per-cent ownership of the $650-million development, according to a news release issued this week by Vancity.

Vancity will pause “to review all aspects of the projects as we move into the next phase of its development,” according to the release.

Neither Van Belleghem nor Vancity was available for comment.

Dockside has been internationally recognized for its green initiatives. The project, which occupies six hectares of former industrial land facing the Inner Harbour, started in 2006 and is close to one-third completed. It has about 450 residents.

“We intend to move forward with Dockside Green’s building program, including its affordable housing components,” Tamara Vrooman, Vancity president and CEO, said in the release.

Developer Gordon Smith will “lead a team to move us further toward achieving our long-standing environmental, social and financial goals,” she said.

Van Belleghem is selling his Windmill West Group interest in Dockside. The Windmill West website says that company is co-chaired by Van Belleghem and Jack Julseth, co-founder of Three Point Properties, a major developer on Vancouver Island.

Dockside’s 2010 business plan has been developed and its major infrastructure has been built, Van Belleghem said in the release.

He will continue to work on local projects, including Three Point’s proposed mixed-use Bamberton development in the Cowichan Valley.

When finished, it is anticipated Dockside will have a population of 2,500 residents in three neighbourhoods. Plans call for 26 buildings totalling 1.3 million square feet, featuring residential, retail, office, live-work units and light industrial uses.

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