Public plaza, café and amenities building unveiled for Bedford Landing
Elements of the amenities available for public use at Bedford Landing were unveiled at Township council’s meeting on March 5.
Among the attractions is a café which staff recommended should be leased to an operator who can oversee the total public amenity area to be developed on the eastern edge of the housing development at Billy Brown Road and Glover Road in Fort Langley.
The café will occupy a small portion of a 2,000 square foot addition to the east end of a four-storey apartment building currently under construction, and is intended to serve Fort to Fort Trail users, river sports users, and the public drawn to the plaza for a wide variety of events.
The public amenity will include a staging area for rowing and paddling events.
Among the “desirable” uses of the public amenity, outlined in a report to council, are:
* Performing arts — classes, workshops, small presentations of music, poetry, dance and readings;
* Visual arts — workshops, demonstrations and displays of arts, crafts and hobbies;
* Recreation programs — yoga, pre-school activities, summer camps and pumpkin carving;
* Drop-in opportunities — for seniors, youth and pre-schoolers;
* Special events — such as the annual Cranberry Festival and a farmers’ market, and
* Social activities — such as family reunions, small receptions and card games.
The Township will use $150,000 from Bedford Landing owner ParkLane Homes to implement the above on land that was transferred by ParkLane to the municipality.
While they embraced the concept, Councillors Kim Richter and David Davis objected to the fact that the Township is proceeding without the knowledge of exactly what the amenities will cost to build above the $150,000 from ParkLane.
“What if we can’t find a tenant (to operate the cafe)?” Richter asked, suggesting that the Township was building a shell with no word on how much it will cost to outfit, including the installation of toilets, and to maintain.
“It’s false economy” to support the project without knowing fully what it will contain, Richer added.
“Let’s not start getting negative,” Councillor Steve Ferguson interjected, praising the proposal.
“A responsible move will be to find out how much it will cost,” countered Davis.
“We are spending taxpayers’ dollars here,” Davis said.
The Township will proceed with a request for proposals to lease the 2,000 square foot public amenity area.
Meanwhile, staff will also negotiate a lease with one or more of the sport user groups for the use of the Riverside Room. This is an athletic training facility attached to the existing Riverside Centre which is being redeveloped.
It consists of three strata units, one of which, the Riverside Meeting Room, is owned by the Township and is currently managed as community space.
This will be reconfigured to serve athlete training needs, said parks and recreation director David Leavers.
The building also houses the Fort Pub, which will remain.
The former ParkLane show suite, which is privately owned, is also housed in what was once a restaurant.
Two new boat storage facilities will be part of this redevelopment. The cafe and open air public plaza are expected to be completed in 2013.