Like I have said on my old web site “Crofton could be one of the nicest town on the west side of Vancouver Island”. Fast forward Catalyst Paper is out of bankruptcy protection as of 2013. They have a deal in place with the unions to cut their labour cost but the main problem is their staggering debt, high taxes and high input cost. So I state again “if” (or when) the mill closes Crofton may become a condo mecca that could feature 30-40 story high rise condo buildings, restaurants, waterfront golf course, high end marina, rail excursion terminus, casino and cruse ships dock.
The lay of the land that the town is on is very conducive to redevelopment and or gentrification. Crofton is on the sunny & dry side of Vancouver Island and faces east to Salt Spring. There is no freeway running through Crofton (no road noise). Crofton is a true waterfront town. Almost all the houses in the town could or have an ocean view. The land is gently sloping like a large bowl.
With current prices held to a low level this is the time to buy. One can buy a nice home for less than 300k. If the mill closes major developers might be lining up to buy the mill land. There is no golf course I know of on the west coast that has islands that are part of the course. The island that the mill owns could be part of a fabulous waters edge golf course. The bay between the island and the mill site could be a large high end marina for extreme super yachts. The mill site has a rail line that is connected to the Vancouver Island rail system that could offer island tours. Deep Sea ports are relatively rare on the West Coast. Most of the major cruise ships lines that go from Seattle or Vancouver to Alaska are looking for new one day destination stops. Who knows maybe a Casino might be part of the mix.
The thing is if the mill closes (it would be tragic for lots of families and the loss of good paying union jobs, it would be a terrible blow to Vancouver Island, I would hate to see this happen) the town would go on it is just part of the evolution of the area. Crofton started not as a pulp mill town but a smelter town for the local mines that are long gone. If the mill closes these are just some of the possible things that could happen; North Cowichan will loose approx 6.7 million a year in taxes if the mill closes. A mega condo/tourism development would replenish their tax base and replace local job that would be lost. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next 3-5 years or so. The value of land is really based on local zoning. If North Cowichan loses 1/3 it’s tax base the pressure will be on them to re zone. I can not remember seeing any local gov chop spending to make up such a big shortfall. Bureaucrats look after themselves and their own jobs first. If it comes to rezoning or lay offs at the local district I would put my money on rezoning. This is happening now in Campbell River BC where the local Catalyst paper mill has shut down. The local Mayor wants to cut spending but the bureaucrats want to just raise taxes a mere 13.6% at a time when people have lost their jobs. Read the story here in the Courier – Islander Print – Print Story – canada.com network
Crofton could be a fabulous development making it one of the best towns on Vancouver Island. Why wait until the prices are sky high buy now and ride the prices up. If Salt Spring is over your budget and you want to be on the west coast give Crofton a serious look. I think Crofton is probably one of the lowest price places on southern Vancouver Island for real estate with the biggest potential for making the highest returns on your Vancouver Island real estate investment dollars.
Here is the link to the Crofton MLS. I can show you any home in Crofton.
Have a great day