Former Safeway site in downtown Chilliwack sold

The former Safeway site which has been vacant for more than a decade in downtown Chilliwack has been bought by developers

The former Safeway site in downtown Chilliwack

The former Safeway site in downtown Chilliwack

A ‘sold’ sticker appeared this week on the large ‘For Sale’ sign on the old Safeway site.

The property at Main and Kipp, covering an entire city block, was bought by Surrey-based real estate developers, Mann Group, The Progress has learned.

All eyes are on the site because any significant revitalization of Chilliwack’s downtown is believed to hinge on what happens to it.

“It’s very early in the process, and things are changing week by week,” said Ryan Anderson of OTG Developments, who confirmed the old Safeway property had been purchased.

Anderson was hired for his expertise as a local land-use consultant to guide the Mann Group through the maze of paperwork involved with the land purchase and redevelopment process.

“They are very encouraged and happy to be initiating this process, and they believe there are great opportunities to be had here,” said Anderson.

Subjects have been removed and the closing date on the sale is set for later this summer, he said.

Since the demolition of the old Safeway building last November, many have been speculating about what will become of the large property, which is seen as so ripe for redevelopment.

The former Safeway site has seven lots on it with a combined area of about three acres, bounded by Main Street, Kipp Avenue, Mary Street and Princess Avenue.

Its central location makes it pivotal, and it will likely be mixed use development.

“At this point things are very preliminary, and they are going through various iterations of the plans,” said Anderson.

What is different about this site, is that the rezoning was not applicant-driven, but rather it was spearheaded by city council.

It was a deliberate effort to make the zoning dovetail with their vision for Downtown, as contained in the Official Community Plan, with some of the highest density compared to anywhere else in Chilliwack.

Council approved rezoning of the entire block last fall, going from commercial, to high-density multi-family residential, and commercial, as well as a CD 15, (comprehensive development) zoning. The developer can propose other rezoning options, should they choose to.

Mann reps have already started meeting with city and CEPCO officials as well as stakeholders.

“Chilliwack has a good reputation for development, and (Mann) they have been enjoying the experience,” said Anderson.

Mann Group specializes in commercial, industrial, retail, and multi-family projects.

“Established in 1989, Mann Group has extensive experience in land acquisition, project design, construction and project financing,” according to the company website.