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Interest in Grand Forks-owned land on Central Avenue

A parcel of land in the west end of Grand Forks is drawing interest from a potential developer.

The 2.7 acre property on the southwest corner of Central Avenue (Highway 3) and 25th Street is owned by the city and has been for sale for years.

But a frustrated Coun. Rod Zielinski asked council last week why a developer can’t buy it – even when there’s a “for sale” sign.

“We’re going to freeze this piece of land for a future development, even though we have somebody that wants to purchase the land for something that it’s zoned for, we’re not going to sell it to them, is that correct?” Zielinski asked.

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During the previous council administration, Mayor Everett Baker says there was discussion about a farmer’s market or a fruit stand but the “people interested never showed up to council for a presentation.”

The mayor says the property was looked at for a future brand-name hotel with “potential conference center and possibly a family restaurant.”

“At this point in time the land, we think and said by the previous council, that this property would be suitable for a branding hotel particularly at the entrance to our city because we do not have room for conference centers,” Baker said.

The previous council had contacted an “interested party” but the company had already been in the thick of developing hotels in Penticton and Osoyoos.

Baker added he’s not against development and any potential buyer is welcome to make their case before council.

“Once it’s gone, it’s gone,” he said.

Coun. Deborah Lafleur indicated the idea of a hotel “would be on the agenda” of a meeting she’s been invited to on Dec. 5.

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