Prince Rupert looking to sell land in Seal Cove for housing development

The City of Prince Rupert is looking to sell a parcel of land in Seal Cove to a developer for housing.

City council approved the first step to sell land directly adjacent to the new Seal Cove park, the former quarry area along Bellis Road, to Keycorp Development. The agreement is for an initial development of 75 market housing units and the potential for up to 300 units through a four-phase development plan.

“The addition of up to 300 units over the longer term, and 75 units to start, will help to alleviate some of the intense pressure of our current housing market, provide market options for working professionals and retirees, and help with incubating the Seal Cove area – which was a priority of the 2030 Vision,” outgoing P.R. mayor Lee Brain said.

A public notification for property disposition must still be published before the development can go through. The land would also have to go through a public process to rezone from industrial to multi-family residential.

These housing units will not be considered affordable housing, but rather will be sold as market developments, the city said.

In 2021 council passed an Interim Housing Development Action Strategy, which aims to incentivize new developments and address the housing crisis by increasing the variety of housing options, a press release from the City of Prince Rupert stated.

The proposed sale is an outcome of the strategy.

“We all know that demand for housing is incredibly high in Prince Rupert,” Brain said.

The city is looking for other opportunities to increase the supply of affordable housing. They have been exploring funding opportunities through the Federal Rapid Housing Initiative, with a focus on affordable lower-cost housing.

Keycorp Development has been in development for more than 40 years.

“We look forward to investing in the city and working with the community to not only create housing, but the jobs and economic growth that comes with it,” Malcolm McNaughton, development director at Keycorp Development said.

Kaitlyn Bailey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View