Abbotsford eyes banquet hall at rebuilt Ledgeview clubhouse

Call for proposals to rebuild clubhouse at city-owned golf course requires proponents to include banquet facility with space for 250

Abbotsford has put out a call for suggestions on how best to redevelop the clubhouse lands at the city-owned Ledgeview Golf Course

Abbotsford has put out a call for suggestions on how best to redevelop the clubhouse lands at the city-owned Ledgeview Golf Course

The City of Abbotsford has put a call out for proposals to build a new clubhouse at Ledgeview Golf Course that will include a 250-seat banquet facility.

The banquet hall’s capacity would be double that of the city-owned golf course’s previous clubhouse.

Heidi Enns, the Abbotsford’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture, said the city envisions a space that could both expand the hosting abilities for the golf club and be accessible to the public at large for events like weddings and conferences.

“It’s a great opportunity for the community and a great opportunity for Ledgeview as well,” she said. “The vistas of the valley are just incredible.”

The previous clubhouse had been described as a “renovated old house” and had already been slated for replacement when it burned to the ground in April.

In February, the city signed an agreement that will see pipeline company Kinder Morgan contribute $1.3 million towards a new clubhouse if the federal government gives the go-ahead to the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline later this year.

But April’s fire has sped up plans, with the city receiving insurance money that exceeds the Kinder Morgan funds. That insurance money is believed to be contingent upon the razed building being replaced, and the city has said renegotiating the Kinder Morgan agreement is not possible.

The city’s request for expressions of interest (RFEI) is an open-ended call for proposals for “any combination of design and build, ownership of the 2.5-acre clubhouse lands or any other potential development options for the clubhouse land and facilities.”

There is no set dollar amount for proposals. The agreement requires a building that would include a banquet hall and space for golf course needs, and it also requires the course continue to be operated by the Ledgeview Golf and Country Club society as set out in a lease that runs until 2020.

John Hambley, the president of the society that operates the course, said the group is pleased to see the process move forward.

“We’re looking forward to seeing what comes out of this process, if anything,” he said. “To the extent that it can be an attraction for the community as a whole … I think it’s a positive thing for Abbotsford.”

In the meantime, golfing at Ledgeview resumed the morning after the fire, and the club has purchased set-up facilities, including a full-kitchen, and seating both indoors and outdoors for temporary use.

“We’re delighted that we’ve been able to, after eight-nine weeks, to get both the golf shop open and the kitchen and deck open,” Hambley said.

The RFEI closes in early July. After evaluating proposals, the city can either send out a request for proposals for a more-specific facility to short-listed respondents, or contract directly with an applicant. There is no requirement for the city to pick a project if the proposals are insufficient.