Furry Creek land deal could result in 570 more new homes

Chinese company that bought Furry Creek golf course last year expands its hold on the area

The Chinese company that bought the Furry Creek golf course last year has expanded its hold on the land, which may herald the continuation of a large residential development that has hiccupped over the years.

Fine Peace Holdings has bought the area up from the Furry Creek golf course from Wesgroup and Parklane Homes.

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With the acquisition of this zone, known as the Tanac lands, Fine Peace could build approximately 570 more homes in the area, said Michael Geller, who represents the company.

“It now means we can fulfill that original vision as a complete community, not sort of two separate developments,” he said.

Geller wouldn’t say how much money changed hands, but BC Assessment made an entry of $23.67 million on July 30 for the area’s sales history.

One of Fine Peace’s representatives also circulated an announcement to Furry Creek residents.

“We are confident that this acquisition will allow us to create a more complete community at Furry Creek in keeping with the original vision, offering a broader range of housing choices along with a new resort hotel, neighbourhood commercial services, and marina facilities,” said Yang Jin in an email to those in the neighbourhood.

Last year, Fine Peace bought the Furry Creek golf course and the land immediately surrounding it, including the waterfront area.

At the time, Fine Peace’s intention was to start building about 250 housing units around the waterfront.

With its latest acquisition, Geller said the company plans on continuing to build residential units but may vary things up.

Instead of only single-family homes, he said Fine Peace is contemplating a greater spectrum of housing, including apartments and townhomes.

This may require some tweaking of existing residential zoning, which allows for the construction of single family homes.

The story of this area is that of a large project that never quite followed through on its ambitions.

In the early 1990s, the land was owned by Tanac Canada, a subsidiary of the Tanabe Corporation of Japan.

Its envisioned a development of 920 residential units, in addition to a golf course, a marina and resort facilities.

The golf course and some housing units were built, but Tanac never reached the goals it had outlined.

Eventually, that company decided to sell the 1,000-acre property, dividing the area in two.

The Burrard Group acquired the golf course and its immediate surroundings, while Wesgroup and Parklane Homes took the uplands farther from the water.

Last year, Fine Peace bought the 175 acres – including the golf course – that were held by the Burrard Group, but not the land owned by Parklane and Wesgroup.

Now, with its latest purchase, all 1,000 acres are under the control of Fine Peace, which appears set on following through with the original Tanac plan, but with some modifications.

Geller, who was actually one of the architects of the original Tanac plan, now has a chance to finish up on his project with his new client.

He said that in addition to building out the homes, Fine Peace was in discussions to do land swaps between residential areas and the golf course in order to change things up.

It wouldn’t affect how much housing would be built in the area, but it’s hoped that it would improve golfers’ experience on the course.

Aside from improvements to the golf clubhouse, no construction has taken place.

Geller said that talks with the surrounding community and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District will continue before shovels hit the ground.

Furry Creek is perhaps best known as the setting for the hit movie Happy Gilmore, starring Adam Sandler.

 

***Updated Aug. 30, 5:25 p.m. PDT

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