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Ombudsperson’s report on Castlegar property sale expected soon

The BC Ombudsperson’s Office is expected to release a report on the sale of some city-owned land in Castlegar around the end of the month.

It follows two complaints filed by residents last year after the city rezoned and sold two lots near Columbia Avenue and 24th Street for a mixed-use development.

Among other things, complainant Brian Pinter argued the city undervalued the property and sold it for less than it was worth. He also felt it should have gone to public tender.

The two lots, which have since been consolidated, were sold on June 14 last year for $553,900. Two weeks later, the property was assessed at $655,000.

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In April, city council voted 6-1 in favour of the rezoning to clear the way for the three storey, 54-unit residential-commercial building, partly on the site of Bob Brandson Park. While a park will remain on the site, it will be smaller than the old one.

Nexus Developments is constructing the building dubbed The Park Place in partnership with the Sutherland Group, a company whose holdings include Sutco Transportation. Up to 15 units will be set aside for Sutherland employees while the rest will be placed on the general market.

The ombudsperson’s draft findings were provided to the city, which responded at the end of December.

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