Construction begins on North Vancouver redevelopment with 800 homes

Jun 4 2021, 5:06 pm

Construction commenced earlier this week on the Lonsdale Square redevelopment, situated on the footprint of the city-owned block of the existing Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre in Central Lonsdale.

The multi-phased project by local developer Darwin Properties on the 6.6-acre site — located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Lonsdale Avenue and 21st Street — entails two towers and a handful of mid-rise buildings.

The first phase, currently under construction, entails 113 units of secured market rental housing with ample resident amenities and 8,000 sq ft of ground-level retail and restaurant space. This six-storey building is a partnership with Ontario-based Minto Properties, which is providing construction financing. It is the REIT’s first project within Metro Vancouver.

Earlier this spring, in response to neighbourhood criticism, the developer and TKAD Architecture & Design redesigned this rental building in a way that allows for the preservation of a tree estimated to be over 200 years old.

Also part of the first phase is the first seniors assisted housing complex within the City of North Vancouver in 30 years — a partnership with Sunrise Senior Living with 100 units for assisted living and memory care in another six-storey building.

lonsdale square north vancouver darwin properties

Artistic rendering of all phases of Lonsdale Square on the footprint of the existing Harry Jerome Community Recreational Centre in the City of North Vancouver. (Darwin Properties)

lonsdale square darwin properties north vancouver

Artistic rendering of the first phase of Lonsdale Square on the footprint of the existing Harry Jerome Community Recreational Centre in the City of North Vancouver. (Darwin Properties)

Both buildings in the first phase are expected to reach completion in the second quarter of 2023.

“The vision for this new community is to create a hub that brings renewed energy, activity and amenities to the north end of the Lonsdale corridor and to build more housing options for all stages of life in the North Vancouver community,” said Oliver Webbe, CEO of Darwin Properties, in a statement.

“With the new Harry Jerome Rec Centre, this area will become a vibrant, new energy centre on the North Shore. As a North Vancouver company, we have worked hard to create a development that residents can enjoy for generations to come.”

lonsdale square north vancouver darwin properties

Artistic rendering of the first phase of Lonsdale Square on the footprint of the existing Harry Jerome Community Recreational Centre in the City of North Vancouver. (Darwin Properties)

The second phase of Lonsdale Square will include condominium homes, additional rental housing, childcare facilities, and the remaining commercial space component.

All phases combined, spanning a total floor area of 812,000 sq ft, will provide 803 homes of a mixed housing tenure, including 486 condominium homes, 126 secured market rental homes, and 91 below-market rental homes operated by a not-for-profit organization, and the 100 units for seniors’ assisted living.

The developer will also set aside 2.25 acres on the west side of the block, facing Lonsdale Avenue, for a public park.

Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre North Vancouver downsized

2021 artistic rendering of the downsized scope of the new Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre. (HCMA Architecture/City of North Vancouver)

Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre North Vancouver downsized

2021 artistic rendering of the downsized scope of the new Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre. (HCMA Architecture/City of North Vancouver)

Darwin Properties has entered a 99-year lease with the municipal government to demolish the existing community centre site for the redevelopment. The city is expected to see $210 million in revenue from the lifespan of the lease, which will go towards covering the cost of building the new replacement community recreational centre on another city-owned block immediately to the north.

Construction on the new $181 million Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre is expected to begin in the middle of 2022 for an opening in 2025. The expanded facility includes an aquatic centre, NHL-sized ice rink with seating for 500 spectators, gymnasium, fitness areas, multi-purpose spaces, community and gathering spaces, and outdoor recreational spaces.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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