Q: Why were these two developer chosen?
Kirkham: To back up, when we came on to council we were pretty clear that DOS didn’t really have the capability to develop the site. So we gave it to SODC and they hired Cushman and Wakefield and did their International appeal for parties that are interested in developing the site. They received seven expressions of interest and two of them were suitable for the community.
Q. Why these two, can you offer some specifics?
Smyth: We were evaluating everyone in a range of factors and one of them obviously was the price they were willing to pay, their willingness to comply with the subarea plan, financial capability to follow through with the plan, and see that people were ready to build as quickly as practical.
Kirkham: And then some history, capability and experience, and their knowledge of the market to deliver on large projects like these.
Q. Has any of the developer you chose been involved with SODC at any point?
Kirkham: I’m not sure what you mean. What do you mean they have been involved?
Q. Have any of these developers had any dealing with SODC?
You know that Michael Hutchison was on the board.
Q. Don’t you see any conflict in that?
A. We opened all the information and the studies and everything that SODC ever did all the environment assessments, upgrading and the remediation, and the business plan and the financials, all the history was open to all proponents who wanted to be part of it.
There is no information that one party would have that the other wouldn’t have.
Q. Was there any other way that he was ever involved except for being a SODC director?
A. No, because when our council came on board, we gave directions to SODC to not do anything other than to go to the market. All the background, all the information within the SODC was open to all those interested.
Q. Gregg, are you aware of any dealings he might have had with SODC?
Q. What are the details of the sale?
A. That is something we have to nail down, but as to the final agreements are, I can’t say that right now. We have chosen a developer with whom we want to work towards a sale with. We thought we should keep connected with the community and let everyone know where we are at and we are doing.
Q. It’s odd that there is no sale price announced?
A. I don’t think that is the case at all. What I believe is we are in a position where we can work towards an agreement, that doesn’t mean we have the upper hand or they have the upper hand, the agreement has to be acceptable to both parties, or you don’t have an agreement. They are not in a position to corner us or anything.
Q. What happens if negotiations fail?
A. I can’t say that we have a laid out plan for what we do if we don’t have a deal, but we are working towards having a deal and that is our vision.
Q. So, what happens now?
Kirkham: We get together and form a negotiating team to work out the deal with the proponent, and we are working on it to get a deal within the next six months. I’m looking at spring. That will be the final transaction deal that will have a price and phasing of the development.
Q. Who were the other interested companies?
Kirkham: I can’t say that.
Q. Why not?
A. Because that was done in confidence. The arrangement with them when they were submitting proposals was that they were done in confidence. That was the method in which they knew they were submitting their proposal.
Q. What happens to the debt, will it be acquired by the developer?
Kirkham: We haven’t nailed down the price, but it’s certainly our objective that there will be no liability, no burden on the taxpayers, which would be interpreted as that debt would be extinguished. There has been a lot of concern in the community about the debt being a burden to our community, and that is one of our key objective.
Q. So, DOS and SODC won’t bear any financial risk ?
Kirkham: When you are working on a financial deal, it’s all subject to negotiations, but it’s certainly our objective going in that there will not be any debt left over.
Q. Is the sub-area plan also up for discussion?
Kirkham: The sub area plan was a key factor and our priority was that the developer follows the sub-area. And that is also the reason we chose this developer because they are interested in sub-area plan too.
Smyth: They are willing to accept the subarea plan without any major modifications, remember this is a build out over 20 years and as time goes, there will be legitimate reasons why someone may want to change something, but they are committed to the plan.
Q. Can these proponents flip the land and sell it?
Kirkham: We haven’t nailed the deal yet, but we are not interested in that and they are not interested. But things can change. At the end of the day, the developer might change his mind or run into some roadblock, but they have clearly expressed they want shovels in the ground as soon as possible. They believe in Squamish and they recognize the huge potential that Squamish has for that project and for the community itself.
Q. Would the park be the first component?
Kirkham: Well, there are environmental issues that building the park solves, and that has a lot to do with the ability to subdivide and move ahead with the project that is the key factor in initiating the project. The developer has indicated that they recognize this.
Q. What about the services?
Kirkham: That is something we will be nailing down in the next few months as for whose responsibility these are and the timing.
Smyth: And that is the reason why it might take so many months to negotiate, there are so many issues to be resolved.
Q. What is the assessed value of the land?
Kirkham: I’m not sure what that is.
Q. With the new provincial guidelines for flood mitigation, is there any extra cost?
Kirkham: Well, any development on the shore of the ocean has to adhere to the guidelines, it’s the cost of doing development on the waterfront, it’s something we will all have nailed down in the next six months for who pays for what.
Q. How do you compare it to the Qualex deal?
Kirkham: It was before I got on council. That deal didn’t go through and so I got on council we were stalled and we need to take it to market and we need to determine what the market place is willing to participate and bring the plan to reality. This is the 2013 reality we are dealing with.