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Beach House Restaurant property in Cordova Bay for sale

After extensive upgrading to what had been known as McMorran’s, Kate Phoenix opened the Beach House in 2012.

Cordova Bay Village’s landmark waterfront Beach House Restaurant and associated parking lots across the street to the west have gone on the market in two separate listings.

The Beach House has been a regional attraction for close to a century. It started as an ice-cream stand and then expanded into a venue for dinner, dancing and special events. Today it straddles two lots at 5105 and 5109 Cordova Bay Rd.; they are for sale for a total of $5.5 million.

The lot to the north, which holds the bulk of the Beach House, is zoned for residential use, while the remainder of the structure sits on a lot zoned for commercial use, real estate listing agent Glynis MacLeod said Monday.

Together the properties cover 16,732 square feet and have 10 onsite parking spots, the listing says.

Greater Victoria residents got to know the property as McMorran’s, named after the family which ran the business until it closed in 2010 when they said it was too difficult to make a profit.

George McMorran opened the ice-cream stand to serve beach campers. Son Eric, who died in 2015, headed up the business and was a familiar sight there. The building was vacant when Kate Phoenix purchased the restaurant and its related lots across the street.

After extensive upgrading, including a new roof and repairs to the foundation, Phoenix opened the Beach House in 2012. The building of about 11,000 square feet has main, lower and basement levels, as well as a patio of 2,200 square feet. Large windows give customers an expansive view of the water and of the beach, a popular destination for walkers.

The restaurant’s website said it is closed for the holidays and will reopen on Jan. 11.

Cordova Bay has seen major development projects move ahead in recent years, including the Haro condominium project with commercial space nearby to the north. That project replaced a group of one-storey buildings, including a Tru Value Foods grocery store that closed in 2017.

MacLeod has seen some interest since the Beach House listing came out shortly before Christmas.

“It is hard to pin down who the buyer might be because one lot is commercially zoned and the other is residentially zoned.”

The second listing for four lots on the west side of Cordova Bay Road is being marketed as a development site through William Wright Commercial Real Estate Services at $9.9 million.

It was decided to use a commercial real estate company to give those lots more exposure, MacLeod said.

That listing covers three undeveloped adjacent lots at 5090, 5094, 5098 Cordova Bay Rd. and a fourth at 985 Abbey Rd., the sole lot with a house. Depending on the type of development, the listing said the total buildable area could reach 56,585 square feet. Proposed heights could be two or three storeys depending on the lot under potential zoning changes.

All four lots are zoned for single-family homes but the local area plan indicates zoning could be more commercially oriented in the future, the listing says.

The seller is requiring the lease-back of the parking lots until September of this year, the listing said.

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