VANCOUVER â€” Three British Columbia First Nations have paid nearly half a billion dollars for a prime piece of real estate on the west side of Vancouver.
The Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations bought the 15.7-hectare parcel known as the Jericho Lands from the province for $480 million.
The First Nations said in a news release that the property overlooking Jericho Beach Park in the West Point Grey neighbourhood was once the site of a First Nations village.
“This is a celebration for all three nations,” Squamish Nation Chief Ian Campbell said in a news release. “Today we are, in a very literal sense, coming back to our homeland.”
The land has panoramic views of English Bay and the North Shore and is adjacent to a 21-hectare area acquired by the three First Nations and the Canada Lands Company from the federal government in 2014.
Any construction will meet City of Vancouver zoning plans, said Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow.
“We look forward to working with all of our partners, the communities and neighbours to ensure the best possible developments occur on these properties,” he said.
The purchase creates the conditions for the First Nations to lead a meaningful consultation process about what should be done with the land, Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson said in a release.
“Local residents will have the opportunity to provide their input on how they would like to see these lands developed for the greatest benefit of the community in the future,” he said.
A release from the province said the final sales contract and two independent appraisals will be publicly released in the coming weeks.
The Canadian Press