A maritime museum has sunk its own moving plans.
The Maritime Museum of B.C. announced Tuesday that it has decided to cancel its planned Pacific Maritime Centre development in Langford, citing the economic realities due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Jamie Webb, president of the maritime museum, told CHEK News that the pandemic forced the museum to examine its options going forward and that the Langford project didn’t fit into its long-term plans.
“We had to have a look at where we are and where we are going in the future,” he said. “That was a really big project and it was just too costly.”
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Located on McCallum Road next to Costco, the Pacific Maritime Centre was slated to become the new home of the Maritime Museum of B.C. for a cost of $57 million.
It was also part of a much larger $87-million development that included a 40,000 square-foot conference centre, a 1,200-seat performing arts centre, an immersive planetarium theatre and a multi-story business tower. It’s unclear what impact the museum’s withdrawal will have on the overall project.
Webb said the museum wants to be near the waterfront, ideally in the downtown Victoria area and will be fishing for new locations.
“We are looking at all options and opportunities and of course being a maritime museum, near the water is pretty important to us,” he said, adding that they would like to find a few suitable sites as well as partners within the next 12 months.
Meanwhile, Langford Mayor Stew Young said in a press release that the city understands the museum’s decision to pull out.
“The City of Langford looked forward to welcoming the Maritime Museum to Langford, however, we understand and support their decision to seek out a waterfront location,” said Young.