After several rounds of public consultation, a preferred concept for the policy statement for the Heather Lands – the old RCMP headquarters on the Cambie Street Corridor – is being put forward to Vancouver City Council for consideration next week.
Early this spring, a new preferred concept for the 21-acre site, based on three concepts put into public consideration last year, was chosen by project proponents and City staff.
The site is bounded by West 33rd Avenue to the north, the alleyway behind Willow Street to the west, the alleyway behind Ash Street to the east, and West 37th Avenue to the south. It was acquired in 2014 by a joint venture consisting of three local First Nations and federal crown corporation Canada Lands Company.
A total of 12 buildings will have a height ranging between 12 and 24 storeys, with the tallest towers located near the centre of the site. Other buildings, including podiums and townhouses, will be between three and eight storeys.
There will be a total of 2,500 homes, with over 1,000 homes designated for non-market use, including about 530 units of affordable housing and 530 units of ‘attainable home ownership’ use.
Over 35% of the market housing units and 50% of the social housing units must be suitable for families with children, which is defined as units with two or three bedrooms.
Up to 60,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, such as a small grocery store, cafe, and medical office, is proposed. This commercial space will be located along a new neighbourhood commercial street, which will connect Heather Street to 33rd Avenue and provide access to the new 15,000 sq. ft. cultural centre and a 69-space daycare facility.
To accommodate the new purpose-built cultural centre and realize indigenous reconciliation, City staff are proposing to relocate the 1920s-built Fairmont Building on the northern end of the site.
Additionally, a one-acre parcel on the southwest corner of the site is envisioned as a new four-storey elementary school building Conseil Scolaire Francophone.
Several other city streets will also be extended into the site to create a new road network, although a portion of Heather Street between West 35th Avenue and West 37th Avenue will be closed to create the eastern edge of a new two-acre public park and bike path. A total of four acres of public park space is planned.
South of the site as part of the Cambie Corridor Plan, the two blocks of Heather Street between West 37th Avenue and West 41st Avenue will be transformed into a pedestrian-oriented retail street to provide a connection between the Heather Lands redevelopment and the Oakridge Centre redevelopment.
The Heather Lands are one of five neighbourhood-sized redevelopments planned for the Cambie Street Corridor. The other redevelopments are slated for the old Vancouver Transit Centre, Oakridge Centre, Langara Gardens, and Pearson Dogwood. This does not include standalone redevelopment opportunities identified by the Cambie Street Corridor, which envisions 50,000 additional residents in the area over the next 20 years.