The City of Nanaimo acquired the lands at 1 Port Drive from CP Rail in March 2013. The lands comprise 10.8 ha of land and water (26.7 acres). The City purchased the property for $3.4 million.
The site is located immediately south of the downtown core of Nanaimo. The parcel is bounded by Front Street and Esplanade Street to the west and the Port Drive trestle to the south. The Nanaimo Harbour is the eastern boundary of the property. The Gabriola Island ferry terminal forms the northern boundary. The site is essentially flat and is a few meters above the elevation of the high tide mark.
The lands were created by the distribution of the coal waste from the Vancouver Coal Mining Company's operations south of the property. The mine ceased operations in 1953 and the lands were sold to CP Rail who developed the property into the Wellcox Yard. The rail yard included a number of rail-related transportation and distribution operations.
The majority of the lands are currently in active industrial use. Seaspan Ferries Corporation occupies 15.5 acres of land and water via a statutory right of way agreement. Island Corridor Foundation and Southern Rail occupy 2.53 acres of land for a rail right of way and an operations building.
A number of land uses have already been proposed for the site, including a passenger ferry terminal for a Nanaimo to Vancouver foot passenger ferry service. The City also has a Memorandum of Understanding to provide up to 3 acres of land to the Regional District of Nanaimo for a transportation hub.
December 17, 2012 - Acquisition Update