The Owl’s Nest Bakery and Bistro, famous in downtown Chemainus, is changing ownership. (Submitted)

The Owl’s Nest Bakery and Bistro, famous in downtown Chemainus, is changing ownership. (Submitted)

Development, business transactions significant for Chemainus

Two highway properties and Owl’s Nest Bakery and Bistro sold

Three significant real estate/business transactions completed recently will bring huge changes to the landscape of Chemainus.

Commercial realtor Kristie Haz of NAI Commercial Central Vancouver Island Ltd. closed the deals, including: a 21.53 acre property on the Trans-Canada Highway next to the Country Maples Campground that will become a 115-lot modular home park; a property at the corner of the Trans-Canada Highway at River Road slated for commercial development; and the sale of the Owl’s Nest Bakery and Bistro, a popular eatery in downtown Chemainus.

Core Group, consisting of Robyn Kelln and his wife from Salt Spring Island and an engineering company from Vancouver, purchased the development site for the modular home park that will be known as Morgan Maples.

“It’s something we’re doing with support from CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) and with support from the Cowichan Housing Association and John Horn,” said Kelln.

The focus of the housing project will be on affordability, with independent modular homes.

“We’re hoping to bring those in a range of prices that are 20 to 30 per cent lower than the norm for a three-bedroom,” Kelln indicated.

Affordability is not only an issue for him, but so is availability and it took a long search to find the right property.

“We had been looking for a mobile home or a modular home site for years and we couldn’t find one,” said Kelln.

The Chemainus location provided the right fit.

“Chemainus is the diamond in the rough; why isn’t Chemainus higher on the radar?” pondered Kelln. “I think Chemainus is one of the most beautiful places in the entire world.”

“We had some intricacies to navigate, but fortunately, with the level of sophistication everyone was operating from it came together in the end,” noted Haz.

With the Trans-Canada Highway property at River Road, “I worked with three offers prior to the recent sale,” she indicated. “All were comprehensive in nature but fell short in the due diligence stage. The new buyer has an impressive portfolio. I imagine a well thought-out plan will be slated moving forward.”

Jacky and Kara Lai have become well-known in the Chemainus business community as the Owl’s Nest owners.

“I’d initially referred the seller to a business specialist in our office, however, he moved his business so I ended up working with Kara and Jacky, in the end,” Haz explained. “I listed the business for sale prior to COVID. Kara and Jacky have been incredible to work with. They implemented a new carryout menu during COVID which helped their business thrive during many shutdowns.

“These two are incredibly positive individuals and are always striving to serve the community. This has spilled into the sale as they are committed to set the new owner up for success and will be active in seeing a smooth transfer of the business. They deeply care about their community and I expect we’ll still see them thriving in the area.”

The Lais’ tenure at the Owl’s Nest will conclude at the end of the month.

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Property on the Trans Canada Highway beside the Country Maples Campground has been sold and will become a mobile/modular home park. (Photo submitted)

Property on the Trans Canada Highway beside the Country Maples Campground has been sold and will become a mobile/modular home park. (Photo submitted)

Commercial realtor Kristie Haz has closed three business transactions in recent weeks of huge significance to Chemainus. (Phorto by Jesse Hlady Studios)

Commercial realtor Kristie Haz has closed three business transactions in recent weeks of huge significance to Chemainus. (Phorto by Jesse Hlady Studios)

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