Red sales in the sunset 20170321133 091
Point Hope Shipyard, Victoria, BC.
Following decisions to replace the Johnson St. Bridge into downtown Victoria, owners of the shipyard took to planning the next century of their business operations. Victoria's "marine garage" serves the ocean highways of the Pacific coast and has been there for a century and a half, and Point Hope has a long term view of the future.
The city played a good hand and flipped parcels of city owned property to the province of BC in exchange for valuable waterfront on the Inner Harbour. Historical use has rendered shipyard lands unsuitable for any other use.
The province relieved themselves of the shipyard by selling it to Point Hope for a dollar, avoiding untold millions of remediation costs. The shipyard has a good record of capping and containing contaminants that are prevalent in many industrial sites across Canada and the cost for reclamation and disposal is sometimes prohibitive and often still leaves some contaminants in place. The shipyard got title to their property, an industrial asset to expand their operations, and fresh opportunities to create new jobs, much in evidence as the yard configuration changes and the business grows.
The city's acquisition should allow for the reshaping of key waterfront properties, long used as a viewpoint for empty cars, where they can create a more people friendly space, though recent choices have been more restrictive than embracing.
When the deal was first done, then current city leaders were obliged to shore up some of the properties to deliver the parcels in a usable configuration, and to provide a muster centre for all of the crews and materiel needed to continue the bridge project.
The net return will remain positive, with new jobs in Victoria and a much more valuable piece of property, (at least for public purposes) closer to ground zero for the city's tourism economy. Truth be told though, the industrial theatre that takes place as ships come and go is always on stage.
The city chose, above the criticism, to absorb the up front costs, and that in turn has shown up in the bridge budget. The money hasn't disappeared, it's just been invested, wisely, in adding to the city's core business - providing an environment where some of our critical industries can survive, and helping to create jobs for the skilled trades. Over the long term, assessed value will increase and the city will quickly recoup the investment many times over.
Some critics are like magpies attracted to the shiny nickels they would have saved; less interested in the prospect of building a more profitable portfolio.
For those that are truly interested in having their city "run like a business", successful enterprises invest in their capital, their plant and the other assets that support the services they provide.
Whatever floats your boat.