News / Halifax

Purcells Cove proposed park comes to Halifax council, developer asks for naming rights

A staff report suggests HRM should begin negotiations around buying 379 acres from Shaw for the wilderness park.

Part of the proposed Williams Lake park area

Contributed/Mike Dembeck

Part of the proposed Williams Lake park area

A Purcells Cove backlands park could move step closer to reality this week, and the current landowner wants primary naming rights for whatever it becomes.

Staff are recommending regional council proceed with negotiations to buy 379 acres around Williams and Colpitts Lakes from The Shaw Group, and then return to council for “consideration of key terms” of the wilderness park proposal with Shaw and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).

“We’re hoping that something like this can be seen as a real developmental building block in this pretty cool city,” Craig Smith, Nova Scotia program director with NCC, said Monday.

The proposal states 170 acres would be conveyed to HRM by deed, and 209 acres would come via a 99-year lease with the NCC.

A rendering of the proposed park boundaries

Contributed

A rendering of the proposed park boundaries

Staff did raise two challenges to work out: the first on implementing the lands’ Category 2 designation to ensure public use or municipal purpose; and the condition that Shaw “has primary naming rights for the lands with NCC having co-branding rights.”

The report said council wouldn’t be able to consider that point without changing the administrative order that outlines the naming rights process for HRM assets, or completing a public call for submissions.

Allan Shaw, chairman of the Shaw Group, said Monday there’s no details yet on what a future park name could be, but asking for primary rights is important as “a legacy thing.”

“We’ve been developers for a long, long time. We’re delighted to be associated with this and if we can have our name attached to it that’s helpful,” Shaw said.

Smith said he has no issues with Shaw having naming rights since they’ve demonstrated “a high degree of civic-mindedness” by backing off development of the site when a sewer and water study didn’t happen, and residents called for protection of the area.

There will be a “significant” funding contribution made by Shaw for the proposed park, Smith said, which would “earn” those naming rights.

“It’s not just going to be handed over for no reason,” Smith said.

“The Shaw family is a long-standing family name in the city … it’s a very widely respected and regarded name.”

More on Metronews.ca