Over 550 new homes coming to Maplewood Town Centre in North Vancouver

Dec 9 2021, 10:16 pm

After five years of planning, the District of North Vancouver council is set to perform its first reading review on Monday of the proposal to redevelop the five-acre Maplewood Gardens property into a mix of higher-density multi-family housing.

Ahead of the start of the final stages of the review process, local developer Darwin Properties has announced it has partnered with both QuadReal Property Group and BC Housing to deliver the redevelopment.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Darwin Properties on this exciting new development. It is in keeping with our strategy to work with best-in-class partners,” said David Roppel, vice president of development for QuadReal, in a statement.

“And we are committed to building communities that focus on mixed use and proximity to transit, so this project is definitely one we are looking forward to building.”

The property is located at 2131-2171 Old Dollarton Road, where there are currently light industrial buildings and the existing Maplewood Gardens complex of 1978-built rowhouses with a combined total of 58 apartment units.

The project has changed somewhat since a formal application was first submitted to the municipal government in 2019. The latest proposed redevelopment calls for an almost 10-fold increase in the number of homes, with a total of 553 new homes in five buildings in four six-storey buildings and a 12-storey tower.

2131-2171 Old Dollarton Road, North Vancouver

Site of 2131-2171 Old Dollarton Road, North Vancouver. (District of North Vancouver / Google Maps)

2131-2171 Old Dollarton Road, North Vancouver

Site of 2131-2171 Old Dollarton Road, North Vancouver. (Google Maps)

This includes 58 units of below-market rental housing, 121 units of market rental housing, 17 live-work units, and 357 condominium homes.

The below-market rental units, managed by BC Housing, will be contained within a building on the southeast corner of the site, while much of the condominium units will be within the 12-storey tower at the northwest corner.

The condominium tower will be the District of North Vancouver’s first mass-timber residential building. RWA Architecture is the redevelopment’s design firm.

If approved, the redevelopment will be built in two phases, with the first phase spanning the southern half of the site, including the replacement homes for existing tenants on the site. BC Housing will oversee these new one-for-one replacement homes, plus the 22 additional rental units for middle-income households. The second phase is the northern half of the site, including the mass-timber condominium tower.

maplewood gardens north vancouver district

Site plan of Maplewood Gardens in North Vancouver District. (RWA Architecture/Darwin Properties)

maplewood gardens north vancouver district

Artistic rendering of Maplewood Gardens in North Vancouver District. (RWA Architecture/Darwin Properties)

maplewood gardens north vancouver district

Artistic rendering of Maplewood Gardens in North Vancouver District. (RWA Architecture/Darwin Properties)

The proponents suggest the residential component of the project, enough to provide homes for as many as 1,350 people, will provide ample opportunities for people who work in the area to live near where they work. According to Colliers, over 80% of current Maplewood employees — roughly 2,000 people — live in other areas, which contributes to the North Shore’s traffic congestion issues.

“We are excited to partner with QuadReal on this new family community that will serve many different demographics on the North Shore, giving people the option to stay in the community,” said Chris Wilkinson, senior development manager of Darwin Properties.

“We hope the development will become a vibrant, new residential community providing a spectrum of housing solutions to support the future growth of the area.”

Residents will have access to over 15,000 sq ft of indoor amenity spaces, and three acres of outdoor areas, such as a central courtyard with green spaces and a large water feature and rooftop patios.

A commercial space component spans a total of 31,000 sq ft, including the live-work units and eight retail units.

maplewood gardens north vancouver district

Artistic rendering of Maplewood Gardens in North Vancouver District. (RWA Architecture/Darwin Properties)

maplewood gardens north vancouver district

Artistic rendering of Maplewood Gardens in North Vancouver District. (RWA Architecture/Darwin Properties)

maplewood gardens north vancouver district

Artistic rendering of Maplewood Gardens in North Vancouver District. (RWA Architecture/Darwin Properties)

maplewood gardens north vancouver district

Artistic rendering of Maplewood Gardens in North Vancouver District. (RWA Architecture/Darwin Properties)

A total floor area ratio density of a floor area that is 2.5 times larger than the size of the lot is targeted — equivalent to roughly 530,000 sq ft of total floor area.

Underground levels will provide 600 vehicle parking stalls, which is 55% less than what the municipal government typically requires, and 100% of the stalls will be outfitted with electric vehicle chargers. As well, 968 secured bike parking spaces will be provided.

To support public transit improvements, the redevelopment will conduct road widening and construct a bus stop for TransLink’s future R2 Marine Drive RapidBus route extension from the current eastern terminus at Phibbs bus exchange to Maplewood.

Maplewood Gardens is the core of one of four key centres identified for growth by the municipal government. This particular project would account for over one-third of the housing supply to meet the 2030 planning target of adding 1,500 new units in the Maplewood area.

If approved, construction on the first phase of the redevelopment could begin as early as late 2022.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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