Future building in North Vancouver pivots from condos to 100% rental homes

Mar 15 2022, 12:36 am

A relatively sizeable rental housing project for the North Shore is planned for North Vancouver District’s Maplewood district.

North Shore developer Darwin Properties has partnered with Quadreal Property Group to redevelop a 1.7-acre site at 229 Seymour River Place into Maplewood Plaza.

The six-storey redevelopment was previously approved to contain 193 homes, including 28 rental units replacing the existing homes found on the site on a one-to-one basis, 10 additional rental units, and 144 condominium homes.

Under the new partnership, the entire condominium component has been converted to 100% rental housing, bringing the total number of rental homes to 193 units in the six-storey building. This includes 183 market rental homes — including 21 townhome rental units — and 10 non-market rental units.

On the ground level, the building will also have 10,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space fronting a newly extended Seymour River Place Road. The building, designed by RH Architects, will be organized around a central courtyard.

229 Seymour River Place North Vancouver Maplewood Plaza

Site of Maplewood Plaza at 229 Seymour River Plaza, North Vancouver. (Google Maps)

The mixed-use rental housing and commercial space development aligns with the municipal government’s plans to provide an employment and retail hub in the emerging core of Maplewood Town Centre.

It is estimated the area needs about 1,500 new homes by 2030 to meet local demand. The development team cites a recent Colliers report, which found that there are about 2,100 employees in the Maplewood area, but only about 626 homes. The lack of local housing options is a driving reason for why over 80% of existing Maplewood area employees live elsewhere, which increases road and bridge traffic congestion.

“This is a big win for the District of North Vancouver and the Maplewood area,” said Jason Turcotte, president of Darwin Properties, in a statement.

“As North Shore developers, we believe in building a diversity of housing options for the community, and we are excited to be able to offer a boost to the area’s much needed rental stock. We intend to prioritize rental housing on multiple sites on the North Shore in the coming years in recognition that the barrier to entry for homeownership is now so high that rental housing is increasingly important.”

The development team recently submitted their development variance permit application to pivot Maplewood Plaza project to rental housing, and to reduce the vehicle parking to align with the municipal government’s parking standards allowing for fewer parking stalls for rentals. If approved, the project could reach completion in early 2025.

Both developers have a combined total of 1,000 homes in the development planning process within the Maplewood area, with over 50% of the units planned as rental homes. Darwin Properties and Quadreal Property Group are also partners for the adjacent Maplewood Gardens redevelopment at 2131-2171 Old Dollarton Road, where they are proposing to build over 550 homes, with a combination of condominiums and rental homes.

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