Waterfront developers cut back on project’s size

The controversial waterfront project by Nancy Josephson and Steve Day just slimmed down considerably.

The two developers, who announced plans last year for a seaside mixed-use complex on Wharf Street, dropped about one-third of the land area they had eyed for the project, Day said Friday.

Josephson/Day are no longer interested in Richard Francisco’s property that is home to the Edgecliff restaurant, Day said. The property stretches from Cascade Avenue down to the waterfront and served, in the original plans

presented last fall, as a connector between the upper business district and the marina area.

The pair is still looking at five parcels which are owned by Ruth and Duane Den Adel, Kathleen Waters Riehl and Carole Meyers.

The Den Adels own the Sea Breeze, while Riehl owns a cottage near the marina and Meyers owns the corner lot at Cascade and Camano avenues.

Day remained tightlipped about the reason for scaling back his development plans, but added that they have not given up entirely on a project in Langley.

“We remain in contact with the other owners. We’re focusing on the waterfront and continue trying to work out something with the city of Langley and the community,” Day said.

What the project will look like now is still up in the air. Day said he is not sure if the new project will still involve a retreat center, commercial space, condos and the amount of public space such as walkways and parks that was in the pair’s original but unfinished plan.

“We’re investigating all of this right now,” he said. “We think we can still create something great.”

The move is bad news for Francisco, who was hoping to unload the property that hasn’t meant much to him economically in recent years.

Day said the developers parted ways with Francisco in an amicable fashion.

“Nancy and I remain on friendly terms with Richard and wish to work together with him and others on achieving common goals,” Day said.

When the developers first introduced their vision of a terraced multi-use development in November, they were welcomed by a number of hostile Langleyites who feared that the project was out of scale and would ruin Langley’s charm.

Since then, Josephson/Day — alongside many Wharf Street property owners — have been lobbying for changes to Langley’s development rules so properties near the marina can be more intensely developed.

The community is also split on what Langley’s waterfront should look like.

While some call for no or minor improvement, others hope to revitalize the marina area as a commercial and social area that would bring more business to town. A petition with more than 135 signatures was delivered to city hall late last year that supported waterfront development.

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