The areas around the two SkyTrain stations along the Millennium Line in East Vancouver are seen to have a far higher density.
Earlier this month, Vancouver City Council gave city employees the green light to begin the planning process for Renfrew Station and the area around Rupert Station.
The area under this planning process is generally designed with Nanaimo Street to the west, East 1st Avenue to the north, Border Road to the east, and East 23rd Avenue to the south, with pockets of light industrial properties. Vancouver Police Department (formerly VANOC) Headquarters in the northwest corner of this area.
It also includes 200 acres of employment land that immediately surrounds both stations and is currently home to office buildings with big box retail (such as Superstores, Walmart, and Lowe’s Home Improvement), warehouses, Vancouver film studios, and private post-secondary institutions. is in possession.
Areas around the stations are largely expected to align with the city’s employment lands and economic review of commercial and industrial development, while areas on the periphery – particularly large areas of single-family neighborhoods – are expected to align with additional Can focus on housing.
However, the area immediately north-west of Renfrew station is being considered for special exceptions. The municipal government received a reasoning inquiry for 3200 East Broadway and 2625 Rupert Street – a 10-acre site that was formerly a BC Liquor Distribution Branch warehouse.
The assets of this former wine warehouse were acquired in 2014 by a partnership between Aquilini Investment Group and MST Development Corporation (the for-profit developer arm of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations) for $37 million. They have indicated to the city that they intend to redevelop the sprawling, sloping site into a mix of uses including light industrial and commercial uses and rental housing.
The proposed residential component of the liquor warehouse redevelopment is not currently permitted for these employment lands and would require a change of designation under the city’s Regional Reference Statement of Official Development Plan and final approval by the Metro Vancouver Regional District. A formal reasoning application for the proposal is yet to be submitted.
In its Metro 2050 draft plan, the regional district has already indicated that it will consider allowing mixed-use densities for industrial land next to Skytrain stations, provided that the redevelopment requires a combination of residential uses above industrial and commercial uses. offer. With severe regional shortages of industrial space, these sectors are not expected to lose their primary designation for employment access.
The land use next to both SkyTrain stations was first modified in 2011 to allow for higher density common office space, which led to the creation of a new seven-story, 110,000-square-foot building at 2710 Caslow Street near LaSalle College’s Renfrew Station. inspired the plan. Construction began on the new replacement and expanded school location last summer.
Within the area plan for the study is the provincial government’s Skina Terrace site at 2298 Cassier Street, approximately an eight-minute walk from Rupert Station. Earlier this year, BC Housing began a separate planning process to redevelop this 11-acre property with aging social housing properties in a diverse mix of housing, including replacement units for existing tenants.
City employees have noted that there are some limitations with the area’s development potential, particularly south of the SkyTrain Guideway and the CN Railway, as it falls within the floodplain of Still Creek, which cuts off most of the employment land. does. As part of the area planning process, flood risk mitigation and natural enhancements will be major considerations for the areas around Still Creek.
The planning process will also consider the potential need for long-term solutions that provide grade separation for the CN Railway, as its road-level crossings are already posing challenges to north-south road access in the region, especially with increasing frequency and of trains passing along the length.
— kenneth chan (@iamkennethchan) November 15, 2021
Similar to the Broadway plan, the upcoming planning process for the area around Rupert and Renfrew stations may include an interim rezoning policy, complete with a provisional development contribution requirement policy. Restricting the types of zoning until area planning is complete will serve to limit speculation of land value. An interim rezoning policy for the study area is expected to be considered by the city council in early 2022.
With substantial public consultation guiding the process, the city aims to finalize area plans for the stations by early 2023.
A formal rezoning application for the former liquor warehouse site is projected in the second half of 2022, with a public hearing possible in the third quarter of 2023. Consideration of regional district policies that would allow for more flexible use of employment land was done simultaneously.
According to the city, the area plan around Rupert and Renfrew stations will be the first community plan to implement the goals and policies of the Vancouver Plan.