Ocean Beach site up for redevelopment
The evolution of the historic Ocean Beach Hotel property on White Rock’s waterfront continues with announcement of a public information meeting for a plan to redevelop the site.
The meeting, called for Wednesday, March 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the gallery room at White Rock Community Centre (15154 Russell Ave.) will outline details of the proposal, which would require a zoning amendment.
The announcement follows on the heels of confirmation from the Joseph Richard Group – operator of the Town Hall chain of pubs in Surrey, Langley and Coquitlam – that, while it has purchased the former Ocean Beach Club business in the hotel, the Veltri family continues to own the building.
The group is rebranding the venue as the Hemingway Waterfront Public House, and plans to soft-open the establishment before the end of this month. Some 45 employees have been recruited locally to staff the venue.
Group principals Ryan Moreno and Andre Bourque said in a recent interview that purchasing the entire hotel had originally been on the table, but they opted to take on the lounge venue only.
“They wanted us to take the hotel,” Moreno said. “Maybe at some point down the road we would consider that.”
The new development proposal for the site, 14989 and 14995 Marine Drive and 14990 Victoria Ave., is for a four-storey building with four ground-level commercial units and 35 residential units above. Plans call for 45 below-ground parking stalls.
The building, originally called the Feedham Block when it was built in 1930, was the site of the Blue Moon Dance pavilion in the 1930s and early 1940s, before being turned into the Cloninger Hotel in 1943. It was rechristened the Ocean Beach Hotel in 1950 and has changed hands several times since.
Co-owner Tony Veltri Sr. would not say what timeline is planned for redevelopment of the property, but confirmed a zoning application is being filed to keep the option open.
The Hemingway Public House plans would not be immediately impacted, he said.
“They got a long lease,” he said, before declining further comment.
White Rock development services director Paul Stanton said that, while the zoning amendment application does not include a timeline, there is “a two-year ticking clock on a development application,” provided it is approved by council.
He said, however, that extensions can be granted if a development is delayed by such considerations as renegotiating financing or meeting requirements for a building permit.