Silva Bay Marina sold

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, July 10 2018

The Silva Bay Marina, Resort and Shipyard have been sold.

Mark Sager, current owner, confirmed the sale was finalized on Monday, July 9.

Dean Chen represents the families who make up the shareholders of the company purchasing Silva Bay.

He said the shareholders as a whole love boating, and have come to Silva Bay.

“We thought it was beautiful. We found out it was for sale, contacted Mark, negotiated a good price, and went ahead with it.”

Mark Sager, owner of Silva Bay Marina for the past 25+ years, said, “Obviously this sale comes with mixed emotions, the past year has had the challenges with the fire.

The Silva Bay Pub and former liquor store building were consumed by a major fire which broke out just after 1:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 5.

“I had other offers, even some for more money, but I think I am turning this beautiful part of our coastline over to very good people. I think they get the island, I think the future for Silva Bay looks very bright. I’m happy it’s them.”

He said Silva Bay has been a place of many memories for him, along with forming some lifelong friends and, now that he doesn’t have to work when he gets to Gabriola, “I will be coming over there, maybe even more now.

“I do think Silva Bay is the most beautiful place on the coast. It will be nice to see it get a facelift which I know Dean and his family will do.”

Asked what the plans are for the future of Silva Bay, Chen said, “that gets interesting.”

The new owners plan to pursue a modified version of what Sager had pitched for Silva Bay years ago - building 24 cottages around a restaurant and pub. Sager’s plan had been to sell each of the cottages.

Chen said the new owners plan to keep that design, “to use it as a resort. We will not sell the cottages, but run it as a hotel for people to use publicly.

“It won’t be turned into private property.”

He said they have also studied different ways of setting up the restaurant and pub.

“We want the pub to be local-friendly. We heard from a lot of people, even when we were visiting, about what people wanted.”

Before anything else is built, the pub and restaurant will be built.

Chen said they know that due to Islands Trust regulations, “we can’t build too close to the water, but we will build as close to the water as possible so people can enjoy the view and the weather. We’ll try to reuse the landscape and see how close we can get to the water [while]complying with local bylaws.”

Because a lot of the design of the development was already done, Chen said they should be able to get to the permitting stage sooner than they might have with a different development.

There are updates to make, to comply with bylaws that have been implemented since the designs were done.

Chen said they are hoping to have shovels in the ground by January of 2019. To speed up construction, some of the building may be done in a modular fashion, to then truck or barge those sections onto the site.

“We do want to open the pub/restaurant before June 2019.

“It is ambitious, but we are pushing for it.”

Chen said the marina office will be open as usual - the goal is to try and do the development without interruption of the marina.

“We will have our manager who has been working for Mark for quite a while.”

Should any tradespersons wish to pitch their services, Chen said they can speak to the marina manager and she will take their ideas to him.

Demolition of what’s left of the Silva Bay Pub and Restaurant is set to happen this week, according to Chen.

The contractor has said to Chen that he will hopefully have demolition finished by the end of the week.