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Developer closed deal on disputed former TFL land on Vancouver Island

Developer Ender Ilkay has closed a deal with Western Forest Products to buy 600 acres west of Jordan River on Vancouver Island.

“I don't know what the ultimate best use will be,” he said. “People think I'm planning housing developments out there, and that's not the plan.”

The land is divided into seven parcels, all of which are between the highway and the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. He closed the deal with WFP in the summer. “Whatever you do you've got to respect it's beside a very important trail.”

Ilkay declined to say how much he paid, but allowed that the price would be around $3 million. The 600 acres are about 10 percent of the land WFP put up for sale in the area last year, after having it removed from management under the province's Tree Farm License system.

Ilkay remains under contract to buy the other 90 percent, depending on what happens with the zoning.

“I would have closed on all of it a long time ago if it weren't for all the twists and turns,” he said. The Capital Regional District and WFP were in court recently arguing about whether the CRD's down zoning of the lands, done in a hurry after the TFL release, was legal. A decision is expected in November.

The seven parcels he bought have always been zoned to prohibit subdivision of lots smaller than 300 acres, Ilkay said. “There's no uncertainty around the zoning of these lands.” He'll wait to see what happens with the rest of the former TFL lands before deciding what to do, he said.

In April Ilkay floated a plan that included a village of 10,000 people at Jordan River, 220 rural lots averaging one hectare each and 454 hectares of denser “mixed housing”.

Whatever happens, Ilkay said he's pleased with his purchase. “I know the coast, and I think land there is a good thing to own,” he said. “The rarer it is the better investment it is . . . I think waterfront, water view, it's always a blue chip investment.”

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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