Oakridge Centre redevelopment begins to rise (PHOTOS)

Jan 28 2022, 10:56 pm

The largest single development within Vancouver since the construction of the Olympic Village is well underway.

Oakridge Park, the new official name of Oakridge Centre mall moving forward, accounting for its inclusion of a nine-acre rooftop public park over the new mall and the significant new residential uses, is beginning to rise from its new foundations.

Nearly all of the previous structures have been demolished, and the first new buildings in the complex are beginning to emerge from the former footprints of the vast surface parking lots on the northwest and southeastern parcels of the 28.5-acre property. The first new floor plates are now poking above ground level at several locations.

oakridge centre oakridge park vancouver construction crane january 2022

January 22, 2022 construction update: Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre), Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

oakridge centre oakridge park vancouver construction crane january 2022

January 22, 2022 construction update: Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre), Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

oakridge centre oakridge park vancouver construction crane january 2022

January 22, 2022 construction update: Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre), Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

Excavation is still underway within the core footprint of the previous indoor mall structure, and further demolition activity is anticipated at the northeast corner next to the intersection of Cambie Street and West 41st Avenue. Plans to retain and renovate the existing north office building have been cancelled in favour of a new-build office tower, but the adjacent terraced residential building (with Crate and Barrel) overlooking the corner public plaza and SkyTrain Oakridge-41st Avenue Station entrance will remain and see improvements.

The surreal level of construction activity happening simultaneously is impressive; eight construction cranes are now hovering high above the site, seemingly providing lift coverage for almost the entire property.

oakridge centre oakridge park vancouver construction crane january 2022

January 22, 2022 construction update: Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre), Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

oakridge centre oakridge park vancouver construction crane january 2022

January 22, 2022 construction update: Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre), Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

oakridge centre oakridge park vancouver construction crane january 2022

January 22, 2022 construction update: Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre), Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

oakridge centre oakridge park vancouver construction crane january 2022

January 22, 2022 construction update: Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre), Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

oakridge centre oakridge park vancouver construction crane january 2022

January 22, 2022 construction update: Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre), Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

Construction activities first began in 2019, and in Summer 2020 a decision was made by mall owner Quadreal Property Group and developer Westbank to significantly expedite much of the redevelopment’s completion, resulting in the full closure of the mall.

The current phase of work being built includes almost all of the new retail and 100,000 sq ft, two-storey food hall, the community centre, Vancouver Public Library branch, the first tower of social housing, four market residential towers, the transit plaza, the north office tower, and most of the rooftop park, which will be owned by the Vancouver Park Board. EllisDon is the project’s contractor.

A Westbank spokesperson told Daily Hive Urbanized that as of this month, the rooftop park, and new shopping centre and food hall within the core, as well as the new community centre, Vancouver Public Library branch, and social housing at the northwest corner are on target to substantially open by late 2024. The residential towers, stretching over multiple phases, will be completed between 2024 and 2027.

oakridge centre oakridge park vancouver construction crane january 2022

January 22, 2022 construction update: Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre), Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

oakridge centre oakridge park vancouver construction crane january 2022

January 22, 2022 construction update: Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre), Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

oakridge centre oakridge park vancouver construction crane january 2022

January 22, 2022 construction update: Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre), Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

oakridge centre oakridge park vancouver construction crane january 2022

January 22, 2022 construction update: Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre), Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

But the final form of Oakridge Park has yet to be determined, and it will be a decision Vancouver City Council will be asked to make in a public hearing in Spring 2022. In Fall 2020, a rezoning application proposed extensive revisions that call for significantly more residential density to pivot the more of the redevelopment towards rental housing, and nearly doubling the office space. This redevelopment has gone through numerous design revisions since it was first conceptualized in the 2000s, but the proposed changes are the most significant since the project was revived in 2017 under the new ownership of Quadreal.

Revised designs by Henriquez Partners Architects show height increases of up to 100 ft — accommodating between two and nine additional floors — on nearly all of the tower and mid-rise buildings.

Height and building width increases will change the redevelopmentā€™s total residential floor area to 3.031 million sq ft, up from the previous approved plan for 2.761 million sq ft.

oakridge park oakridge centre 2021 rendering

2021 updated artistic rendering of Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre): indoor mall and 100,000 sq ft food hall. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Westbank/Quadreal Property Group)

oakridge park oakridge centre 2021 rendering

2021 updated artistic rendering of Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre): main atrium of the indoor mall. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Westbank/Quadreal Property Group)

Although there is a decrease in total condominium floor area, the number of units for this housing tenure will increase from 1,968 units to 2,330 units. The number of secured market rental homes will double from 290 units to 609 units, with the secured market rental floor area increasing from 209,578 sq ft. to 497,145 sq ft.

There is also a new affordable rental housing component of 94 units over 75,600 sq ft. The social housing component of 290 units, currently under construction, remains the same.

Overall, the revised rezoning proposes a net increase of 775 new homes ā€” from the previous plan of 2,548 units to 3,323 units.

oakridge park oakridge centre 2021 rendering

2021 updated artistic rendering of Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre): rooftop public park. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Westbank/Quadreal Property Group)

oakridge park oakridge centre 2021 rendering

2021 updated artistic rendering of Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre): Japanese teahouse on the rooftop public park. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Westbank/Quadreal Property Group)

oakridge park oakridge centre 2021 rendering

2021 updated artistic rendering of Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre): community centre, Vancouver Public Library, social housing tower, and one of the main staircases to the rooftop park from the northwest corner of the site. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Westbank/Quadreal Property Group)

The office space component has also increased from 433,176 sq ft. to 810,436 sq ft.

To accommodate these charges, particularly for the increased office uses, the total retail floor area will decrease by 76,859 sq ft to 1.206 million sq ft, but it will still be more than twice the size of the previous mall.

Overall, Oakridge Parkā€™s total floor area will increase to about 5.05 million sq ft.

Major accessibility and capacity improvements will also be made to the Oakridge-41st Avenue Station, including additional entry circulation capacity from street level, and a new additional underground entrance — a below-grade retail corridor that directly reaches the station’s ticketing concourse level.

oakridge park oakridge centre 2021 rendering

2021 updated artistic rendering of Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre): rooftop public park. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Westbank/Quadreal Property Group)

oakridge park oakridge centre 2021 rendering

2021 updated artistic rendering of Oakridge Park (Oakridge Centre): site aerial and rooftop public park. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Westbank/Quadreal Property Group)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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