Downtown waterfront property up for grabs

Queen’s Wharf in Charlottetown used to be home to the Canadian Coast Guard

Dave Stewart
Published on August 15, 2014

Queen Street

Some prime waterfront property in Charlottetown is now up for grabs.

The provincial government’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has issued a request for proposals (RFP) on the Queen’s Wharf property.

That’s the property that used to be the home of the Canadian Coast Guard.

The RFP process was supposed to wrap up on Wednesday, Aug. 6 but due to growing interest the department has extended the deadline to Aug. 27.

“We had received several requests during the process for an extension so we did extend it,’’ said Foster Millar, project manager with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “It’s a big project. Developers are looking at what they can develop and make financial sense. That takes a fair bit of time.’’

The province acquired the former coast guard piece of land, located next to the Delta Prince Edward Hotel and P.E.I. Convention Centre, several years ago. The convention centre was built on a section of the land the provincial government acquired.

“What we’re trying to do now is test the market and see what private sector interests would have, what the ideas are for developing the remainder of the property.’’

Millar said the vacant piece of land would obviously have to be developed following the different guidelines laid out within the City of Charlottetown’s bylaws and regulations.

“We’re hoping to have proposals and stimulate growth, (development) that is compatible with that downtown area.’’

Millar didn’t want to get specific about the type of interest shown to date. All he would say is that his department has received more than 10 proposals and fewer than 20.

“With some of them we can sort of tell what type of activity they are in.’’

Others would have come in from consultants so it’s not clear whether they are working on their own behalf or another developer.

“We know that there are several people looking at it seriously.’’

The provincial government is obligated to consult with First Nations on P.E.I. because the former coast guard property is former Crown land.

Millar said they did that.

“We have reached an agreement with the First Nations and they are happy with us proceeding with this development proposal call’’

Millar said it’s not unusual in a case like this to extend the RFP process.

In this case, no one is telling prospective developers what they have to build there.

“They need to give us ideas and fairly detailed plans and business proposals and to do it in the time that we initially allocated was probably very, very optimistic. In our hearts, we knew there would be requests for extensions so it’s not that unusual.’’