I am Quinn Griesdale, one of three Directors of
French Creek House. We began this journey
three years ago after John Moore passed away.
John was my uncle, a mentor and a dear friend.
He was quiet, very intelligent, vibrant, strong, and
full of life. He was a successful architect, city
planner and developer.
John was the original architect of French Creek House in the early 1980’s and some of its surrounding properties. In the 1990’s he started to develop the land to the west, creating what is now the western end of Admiral Tryon Blvd. and Viking Way. Sixty-five lots were created, some waterfront. Of the five phases in the development plan, two were finished. Plans for the final three phases involved a mix of large condominiums and small patio homes. These were never constructed after the economic downturn of 2008.
John gave me my first summer job as a young teenager. I read water meters in the Columbia Beach neighbourhood for a water consumption study he needed in order to develop Viking Way. I have always had an attachment to the Oceanside community. While I now live in Vancouver, a long family history has rooted me on the island, not to mention the ocean in front of Qualicum, where I spent most of my childhood summers.
Today’s French Creek House is a shadow of its former self; the staff are still family but the area needs work. As a kid, I remember it having a busy campground with popular cabins and fitness facilities including a pool, a magnificent Greek restaurant overlooking the estuary and a general store where I spent all my allowance on fishing lures. I'd love to see French Creek House enter this century as a strong focal point for the community once again.
As I began evaluating our business position in the summer of 2017, I started trying to see how to build on the businesses currently in operation under our roof and the opportunities that the growing Oceanside community has to offer. I started asking questions: “How can our company be more successful? Answer: Our commercial tenants are the key. The next question then, was, “How can I create a situation where our tenants are more successful? Answer: Generate more business for them by bringing more action and attention to our neck of the woods. After studying the problem (I'm an engineer and I like numbers!) I came to the conclusion that we need a diversity of businesses to create a sustainable, year-round micro economic environment that caters to the immediate community. After further thoughts on what the communities adjacent to French Creek are lacking, I turned to look at factors that would sustain more retail businesses. I was immediately attracted to the greenery that surrounds the estuary. I saw people walking their dogs through the woods of the Columbia Beach property, and I saw people walking on the harbour piers. Then I noticed they had driven to both locations to go for a walk. It dawned on me, why not create an opportunity for the community to access both these locations without having to drive, and then provide a place for them to sit seaside with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in a very inviting and attractive complex, one that says, “Come and explore what we have to offer." The idea was well in hand. People need to live nearby and there is a shortage of good waterfront. We are sitting on some amazing oceanfront views...
The rest will be history, but for now I will continue to build this vision and see where it leads. One thing is certain: I need the community to support the businesses that I would love to host under our new roof. For that I need feedback about the concept and the business types. Thank you for stopping by, and I look forward to hearing from you.
French Creek House Ltd.