Today, it was announced that the Deep Cove Market has come under the control of its new owners. An announcement on Facebook heralding the changeover was posted by Charlotte Edwardson, and signed “Charlotte, Karalyn, Mike and Dan”. There was a really nice picture (above), and the new owners expressed a desire to add “fresh passion and energy” to the store, run for years by beloved local business legend Rosemary Scott. The whole thing was effusive and charming and we were delighted at the prospect of this wonderful place – the beating heart of Deep Cove – carrying on in new hands.
But then, as is our way, we poked around a bit.
Turns out what the Facebook post didn’t mention is that “Mike and Dan” are Mike Edwardson and Dan Schuetze, well-known in the development industry as the General Manager and President, respectively, of Villamar Construction, itself a card-carrying corporate member of the Victoria Residential Builders Association.
So here we have two of the main operators of a residential development corporation, buying a little store on a picturesque corner that was ground zero for the erstwhile “mixed-use residential” proposal for Deep Cove (which is drafted and ready to be slotted right back into the new OCP should the next council feel so inclined).
We're crossing our fingers that the co-owners of Villamar Construction will make a mean roast beef sandwich and everything will be great. But no matter what, the questions raised by this announcement are a timely reminder: the only thing standing between the places and spaces that make up this community, and the looming spectre of development, is a strong mayor and council.
Incidentally, Villamar site manager Majid Varasteh is running for North Saanich council, on a pro-development platform.
We weren’t kidding when we said the development community was watching this election.
You can find a printable list of our picks for council here.
Candidate profiles are here.
Voting day is TOMORROW, October 15, 2022, from 8 AM until 8 PM at Municipal Hall.