Development of the old Alberni Mall is taking a new turn.
Port Alberni city council is considering granting a variance permit to Shape Properties to subdivide the site on upper Johnston Road.
According to a report from city planner Scott Smith, Shape Properties, which is the property’s major mortgage holder, has applied to subdivide a portion of the property into five smaller properties, in effect turning the 14-acre property into six properties.
The move would allow the developer more flexibility to access financing, Smith said. The eventual owners of the five smaller properties would become mortgage holders, who in turn could sell their properties.
Shape has indicated to city officials that they are in discussions with potential tenants for the vacant section of the mall, and hope to apply for development permits to renovate the exterior of the building this spring, Smith said.