Construction is slated to begin in 2021 on the first phase of the Harbourside Waterfront development project on the City of North Vancouver’s waterfront, just west of the Lower Lonsdale area.
Concert Properties is moving forward with the project, which was first approved by city council nearly seven years ago.
“This is a multi-phase development that will take a minimum of 10 years to complete. We are currently in the process of securing multiple permits to start construction on phase one of our development plans,” Kristine Sostar McLellan, a spokesperson for Concert Properties, told Daily Hive Urbanized in an email.
“We are targeting a phase one sales campaign launch and construction start sometime next year.”
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The 12-acre waterfront property, located within a primarily commercial and light industrial district, is wedged by Bodwell High School to the west, North Shore Automall to the north, and Burrard Yacht Club to the east.
All phases combined will create a total of about 900 homes within 800,000 sq. ft. of residential space, and retail and office totalling approximately 290,000 sq. ft. of commercial space.
In total, there are about 18 buildings in this multi-phase project, as well as a new one-acre city-owned public park, improvement of existing greenways including the Spirit Trail, enhanced shorelines, new waterfront boardwalks, and pier extensions to provide water access.
McLellan says technical amendments were made to the project in 2015, and then again in 2017 to convert the hotel space into seniors housing, and advance the provision of rental housing to be part of the first phase of the project, which is designed by Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership.
Phase one of Harbourside Waterfront is Lot D, the easternmost four-acre parcel of four development parcels that form the project site.
There will be four terraced mid-rise buildings reaching up to 10 storeys in height, including three condominium buildings and one market rental housing building.
Lot D will have a total of 377 homes, with a unit mix of 16 studios, 168 one-bedroom units, 130 two-bedroom units, 34 three-bedroom units, four four-bedroom units, and 25 townhouse units. Approximately 100 units will be market rental homes.
Fell Avenue will be the main retail and restaurant hub of both Lot D and the overall Harbourside development. This retail will continue on the ground level, stretching across Lot C to become a high street enhanced by patio spaces. There is also space for a waterside restaurant with a large outdoor patio.
The buildings are designed to maximize downtown Vancouver skyline views to the south, with a more solid massing for buildings fronting Harbourside Drive.
“The four buildings on Lot D will create an overall legible form that reinforces the idea of ‘peaks and valleys.’ Higher buildings along Harbourside Drive are oriented north-south, and a low building form located between the higher building forms is oriented east-west,” reads the architect’s design rationale.
“This helps to frame the views to the North Shore Mountains to the north, and to the water to the south. The terracing of the building forms from the water starting on the fourth and sixth floors helps to create a more human scaled form of development along the Spirit Trail, as well as maximizes light penetration into the interior of the site.”
A single underground level will accommodate over 400 vehicle parking stalls and over 600 bike parking spaces. The complex will be built to a LEED Gold green building certification.
To support the new residential and employment density on the site, TransLink had originally budgeted service improvements for the No. 23 Harbourside/Lonsdale Quay bus route to serve the new development — about 6,000 additional annual service hours, beginning in 2020 or 2021.
But in 2019, due to years-long delays with the development, the public transit authority shifted the allocated funding towards creating the new No. 222 Phibbs Exchange/Metrotown Station express bus route, which launched earlier this year.
The vacant development site was previously slated for an ambitious temporary, years-long Hawkers Wharf in 2016, but the plans fell apart.
However, with the forthcoming changes to the area now proceeding, the municipal government is currently conducting public consultation on a new master plan for Kings Mill Walk Park framing the eastern and southern edges of the development site.