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Potential owner eyes Cordova Bay land

Ian Maxwell, president of the Ralmax Group of Companies, has bought the assets of Trio Ready-Mix and is evaluating the viability of also buying its 26-acre site in Cordova Bay.
Trio gravel pit lands map

Ian Maxwell, president of the Ralmax Group of Companies, has bought the assets of Trio Ready-Mix and is evaluating the viability of also buying its 26-acre site in Cordova Bay.

The agreement means Ralmax will run the Trio ready-mix plant and pre-casting business on the Esquimalt Reserve.

Still to be decided is whether Maxwell will acquire the 773 Cordova Bay Rd. property, which went on the market last month for $11.5 million.

“Really, it is up to the neighbours,” Maxwell said Monday. “We’d have to hear from them to hear what they want to see there. And if it suits us, then maybe we’d do it. If it doesn’t suit us, then someone else should do it. The final decision is the community’s.”

Cordova Bay residents and Trio have had strained relations for years over matters such as noise, land use, truck traffic and odour.

Maxwell is not a residential developer, calling himself an industrialist. His group is made up of Ralmax Development Ltd., Ellice Recycle, Point Hope Maritime and United Engineering.

A decision on buying the land will be made by early March, following a period of due diligence. Environmental and engineering investigation will reveal the state of the land and what can be done on it, Maxwell said.

That site carries three types of zoning. A northern 6.79-acre section was zoned to allow for industrial use, another 12 acres to the south permits 110 residential units and 7.46 acres of park is included as well.

The McLaren family, which owns the Cordova Bay land, is continuing to operate Trio’s gravel and landscape supplies operation at that site for now.

If he buys the Cordova Bay property, Maxwell said he would not be interested in resuming gravel mining at the site. Mining ended in the early 2000s and fill has been deposited on land to help remediate the site.

Bruce McLaren, who died in 2001, founded the company in 1966 with two partners. The company is now held by members of the McLaren family.

Anthony Minniti, president of the Cordova Bay Association, said the neighbourhood plans to revisit zoning for the property. It would be done through a working committee of the association, made up of directors and Trio neighbours. It is too soon to say what the community’s views will be, he said. The current zoning plan was developed in 1999. One issue of concern in the area is the increasing amount of traffic, Minniti said.