Tear down to begin on Legion land

The Parksville Legion is looking for someone to develop its four prime downtown lots.

The Branch 49 Legion has been talking about developing the properties since at least 1985 but have stumbled under market conditions, different developers and proposals that just didn’t work out, explained chair of the land use committee, Don Livingstone.

It owns the four lots on Hirst Avenue, currently occupied by the Legion and the church and house, between it and the Society of Organized Services Thrift Shop.

“We’re talking to several developers and we’re talking to the B.C. and Yukon Command,” Livingstone said, explaining the local organization owns the land but need approval from the provincial body.

“We’re land rich and cash poor,” said Legion president Dave Doskoch, admitting it’s a bit frustrating.

The Legion was built in 1929 and added to at least twice and is showing its age, Doskoch said. He said it is run down but they don’t want to put any money into it if they’re going to rebuild.

Instead, the hope is to find a developer to build a new facility with a Legion, housing and/or commercial space, costing the Legion nothing and maybe even generating revenue.

Livingstone said a feasibility study two years ago found Parksville could easily absorb their project, plus another one. He said they are considering independent living for seniors, which is different than assisted living like the new 40 unit Hustwick Place.

A meeting of the membership was recently held to vote to tear down the house, which Livingstone said is in very rough shape. The space will be leased out as parking until they build a new building which he guessed would be in the three to five year range.


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