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[Langford] Western Speedway redevelopment


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#1 Citified.ca

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 01:04 PM

Langford's-Western-Speedway,-Canada's-oldest-speedway,-listed-for-sale-as-part-of-81-acre-redevelopment-opportunity.jpg

An aerial view of Western Speedway and land holdings in its vicinity. The speedway, as part of an 81-acre redevelopment opportunity, has been listed for sale.

 

Langford's Western Speedway, Canada's oldest speedway, listed for sale as part of 81-acre redevelopment opportunity


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#2 VIResident

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 05:33 AM

 

Langford's Western Speedway, Canada's oldest speedway, listed for sale as part of 81-acre redevelopment opportunity

 

....Langford Stew Young said that the city would be very reluctant to approve any rezoning that resulted in the destruction of the speedway, which has been in operation since 1954. "  https://www.timescol...site-1.24094925

 

(Who wants to buy a speedway these days?  Perhaps the Mayor's comments has seriously hampered the sale of this property).  


Edited by VIResident, 11 March 2020 - 05:34 AM.


#3 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 05:59 AM

high-rises surrounding a speedway would be cool.



#4 Mike K.

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 06:32 AM

That’s the catch. It’s zoned commercial and will not require a rezoning. There’s plenty of demand for commercial space in the region and the plans in the document specifically call for maintaining the track land as commercial, but not as a speedway.

You know what I can see going there? A much, much larger Costco.

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#5 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 06:37 AM

or an ikea.

how about a ring of condos but to enter the underground parking during non-race hours/days you have to take a partial lap of the track to enter? and because it's private property there is no speed limit for your lap.

this way if you are a life long Langford resident and downsizing from your sfd yiu really don’t need to trade in your Camaro.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 11 March 2020 - 06:49 AM.


#6 Mike K.

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 08:18 AM

Here's what the preliminary site plan for the property is, courtesy of CBRE. The race track is in the top-right corner. A new road is envisioned through the site. So who knows, the track might stick around for some time yet, but commercial land is in such high demand in our region that I just can't see the track being viable once a group has purchased the land and is calculating carrying costs into the equation. Very few players can pony up between $40 and $60 million in cash, which is what I assume this will go for.

 

Note that there's a stream-side trail proposed that runs through a portion of the oval, turn #4 I think it would be in race-speak.

 

The actual listing is not yet public, I don't think.

 

site-plan-western-speedway-2020.jpg


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#7 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 10:41 AM

Does Stew have the political sway to retain the track as a racing venue?  I wouldn't put it past him to try to get it heritage-designated ...


Edited by Kapten Kapsell, 11 March 2020 - 10:42 AM.


#8 Rob Randall

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 10:52 AM

I think we are seeing the death of racing on the south island. Is Saratoga  Speedway south of Campbell River the only other spectator racing track on the island? I see it is for sale, too.


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#9 Spy Black

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 11:03 AM

A racetrack designed for short-oval track racing, and the type of cars that brings to race has no future in Langford, it's not sustainable on a piece of land worth multiple millions of dollars.

30 years ago, the track was indeed out "in the boonies" of Langford, and being the Dogpatch that Langford was back then, the racetrack was right at home.

 

But Langford ain't no Dogpatch any more (some might disagree with that statement), it's now a big-box-shopping and "new home" extravaganza, an area with zero desire for a short oval racetrack.

 

I would posit most Speedway spectators come from someplace beyond the area local to the actual track, which means that most of the complaints about the tracks potential disappearance are coming from folks living elsewhere, Gordon Head, James Bay, Central Saanich and the like.

 

A short-oval track might make a go of it in 2020 way out on some rural piece of land worth a few hundred thousand bucks - but it's a dead duck on the multi-million dollar piece of property that it's currently located on.

 

The only real question to be asked is how long will it take for folks to realize that Western Speedway is for all intents and purposes already history, and how vigorously will Stu try to imply it will remain a racetrack before he admits he's actually got no authority whatsoever to dictate the use of the land in question?


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#10 Lorenzo

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 11:12 AM

 

 

The only real question to be asked is how long will it take for folks to realize that Western Speedway is for all intents and purposes already history, and how vigorously will Stu try to imply it will remain a racetrack before he admits he's actually got no authority whatsoever to dictate the use of the land in question?

I don't disagree with you on the land use issue. I am surprised it has taken this long to try and sell it. I think Stew's statements are a bit phony and is pandering to his base at this point. I am sure the wheels are in motion as to how the "usual suspects" in Langford will get rich from this. I am also really interested in the "private bid" aspect of this and who the eventual players will be behind the eventual development.



#11 Rob Randall

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 11:21 AM

The track isn't compatible with new residential development. 

 

Unless they make it like Monaco, and have the track run through the streets. Would make demo derby nights more interesting.


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#12 spanky123

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 01:51 PM

I don't disagree with you on the land use issue. I am surprised it has taken this long to try and sell it. I think Stew's statements are a bit phony and is pandering to his base at this point. I am sure the wheels are in motion as to how the "usual suspects" in Langford will get rich from this. I am also really interested in the "private bid" aspect of this and who the eventual players will be behind the eventual development.

 

Stew's comments confused me. So if the property sells and the owner does wind up getting something other than a track built then I would be really upset if I were the seller. It would seem that Stew's comments are diminishing the potential value of the property. I wonder if Langford wants to buy it?



#13 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 01:54 PM

Unless they make it like Monaco, and have the track run through the streets. Would make demo derby nights more interesting.

 

that's why the track has seen a bit of a downfall.  when they do hit-to-pass nights all the airbags deploy on the first few laps it's so hard to complete the race with that in your face.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 11 March 2020 - 01:54 PM.


#14 Spy Black

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 04:57 PM

 I am surprised it has taken this long to try and sell it. 

The buzz (and it's only the buzz) is that Vera Willie had specified in her will that upon her death the executors of her last will and testament were to sell the property.

She died in 2017.

 

Apparently, her family agrees on very little amongst themselves, and Mrs. Willie anticipated that Western Speedway could be a source of much family strife after her passing - so the executors did her bidding and listed the land for sale.



#15 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 05:02 PM

Apparently, her family agrees on very little amongst themselves, and Mrs. Willie anticipated that Western Speedway could be a source of much family strife after her passing - so the executors did her bidding and listed the land for sale.

 

that sounds right.

 

i personally know some of the kids.  some are saints.  some are lesser lights.

 

but it is what it is. it's a family issue.  not much of our business.

 

i can say the Wille family did more good than harm over many years.   


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 11 March 2020 - 05:07 PM.


#16 Mike K.

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 05:03 PM

Indeed. Groups have been approaching the family with purchase offers since her death.


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#17 AllseeingEye

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 05:38 PM

I think the decline in interest parallels what's happening in North America with regard to golf/club memberships which are dropping. As with golf I don't see millennials getting too hopped up over "jalopy night" or the Saturday Night "75 Lap Main Event" as we knew it as kids.

 

Back in the 70's we'd make the trek out to Langford from Gordon Head-UVic area perhaps half a dozen times a year because we were 16/17, loud cars were cool, you could smoke pot with (relative) impunity and....yeah.....there were the inevitable "Langford Girls", lol. The last time I went to Western Speedway was 1982 when I was 21. Can't say I recall my kid ever begging us to take her and her buddies out there.

 

Every sport ultimately needs a new generation to provide new blood, new interest and, most critically, new bums in the seats. If Western or Saratoga Speedway up-island, which I see is also for sale, were over the top popular money making enterprises, have to wonder why both are up for sale at the same time.

 

I know Saratoga not so long ago updated, refurbished and expanded their seating to over 2500; what is the capacity at Western Speedway and has any money been put into the facility either to update or expand it in the last 20-30 years? The stands were pretty non-descript in 1977 so if nothing has been done since to spiff up the joint I can't imagine it being a very appealing viewing experience in 2020. I agree with Spy Black above - that (racing) activity, in that location on that patch of land particularly given its size and value today, IMO is well past its 'Best Before' date......


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#18 LJ

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 07:40 PM

I think Stew is just trying to get a good amenity package for the city. 


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#19 Matt R.

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 11:02 PM

that sounds right.
 
i personally know some of the kids.  some are saints.  some are lesser lights.
 
but it is what it is. it's a family issue.  not much of our business.
 
i can say the Wille family did more good than harm over many years.


Oh, is this the Wille Dodge family?

Matt.

#20 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 02:24 AM

yes

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