Vancouver approves Oakridge Centre redevelopment plan

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Vancouver city council has approved a rezoning application for Oakridge Centre, which includes plans for 11 residential towers and a civic centre at the West 41st Avenue and Cambie Street site.

      The vote came after council heard from more than 100 speakers during a public hearing on the project this week, including 65 people who opposed the plan, and 45 who expressed their support.

      Non-Partisan Association councillors George Affleck and Elizabeth Ball and Green councillor Adriane Carr voted against the overall plan, citing concerns voiced by residents in the neighbourhood.

      “It’s clear that the people who live in this area do not want this development,” said Carr. “It is too high, it is too dense, it is too tall. No policy that I’ve read justifies this density.”

      Mayor Gregor Robertson said the project “really takes a big leap forward for Oakridge”.

      “Rather than making incremental changes, it anticipates the need for a dense, complete community in the southern part of Vancouver, where we’ve seen a lot of change since 2007,” he stated.

      Vision Vancouver councillor Raymond Louie added a series of amendments to the recommendations, including ensuring that space be set aside in the kitchen of the new community centre for the use of seniors, that staff continue to engage with Vancouver Coastal Health, TransLink and the Vancouver School Board in an effort to ensure that their plans take into account the anticipated population growth from the Oakridge development, and that the city and developer provide a single point of contact to answer questions regarding issues including construction and community amenities.

      But Tracey Moir, the chair of Oakridge Langara Area Residents, called the revisions “a tiny drop in the bucket” for the neighbourhood.

      “It’s not good enough to say we’ll deal with impacts and implications of this redevelopment in the future,” she told the Straight by phone.

      “There are no guarantees in this project that the essential public services such as schools and fire services will be available. Regarding the Canada Line and bus service, council should secure the increased capacity that will be needed to support this miniature city.”

      Moir said the development plan contradicts a policy statement for Oakridge Centre approved by city council in 2007. She noted some of the concerns expressed by community members include plans for a rooftop park as part of the redevelopment.

      “We’ve had very, very loud comments from the neighbourhood and even other parts of the city saying it’s not a park if it’s up on a rooftop and circled by a whole bunch of mostly strata condo towers,” she stated, adding that some seniors are worried about the accessibility of the space in the event of an emergency.

      Louie called the plan “a good addition to our landscape here in the city of Vancouver”.

      “This is a significant addition to this area of our city and it is not just for that local community,” he said. “This is a town centre. People will come to this area and I hope they do, because this is a superior example of what I think we should be building in our city at this location.

      “It’s not everybody for every neighbourhood,” he added. “Not every neighbourhood can or should ever have this scale of development, and part of the reason why this is a proper location is because we invested $2 billion on a rapid transit line that will bring people here.”

      The civic centre planned for the site includes childcare, a new community centre, an expanded library, and a seniors’ centre. The development will also feature 424,260 square feet of office space and over 1.3 million square feet of retail space.

      Housing planned for the site includes 290 units of social housing, 290 market rental units, and 2,334 condo units.

      The 11 residential towers will range between 19 and 44 storeys, and three buildings between 9 and 13 storeys are also planned as part of the redevelopment.

      The first phase of construction is set to begin next year, and is expected to be completed by December 2023, with the rooftop park added by June 2024.



      Save Vancouver

      Mar 15, 2014 at 7:20am

      Once again Vision Vancouver hands a neighbourhood over to developers for their profit. No area of the city is safe.

      Vision Vancouver does not care what residents want, it care about what developers want.

      G. Ruding

      Mar 15, 2014 at 8:01am

      In one word, obscene. It seems that our elected officials are in love with more and more phalic towers, turning Vancouver into one giant construction site. A sense of proportion is gone and we the citizens are being duped over and over again, Today it is green roofs, tomorrow the excuse is affordable housing, but all in all Vancouver voters are ignored by a dictatorial City council that keeps on ignoring the will of the people. The majority of people do not want this density. Justification for these kind of projects are ill defined. We need to make room for the Millions of people that are flocking to Vancouver, but no justification is given. Oh we will create more green space (on top of roofs) no one van see or use. Public input is ignored. Gone are the days when hearings are held, planing department and council take citizen advise and rework the plans. No we had a hearing and the next day we approve the project with a couple of tiny modifications like Raymond Louie request to set aside kitchen space, Is this guy for real? Where did we find him. No the benefits go to the developers and the City's coffers, not to the people, not to future home owners, as our property prices have not gone down despite the imaginations of this Vision Council. And if the City has an ever increased appetite for more tax revenue, one need to ask where are all these dollars collected being spend on. Oh yes I forgot bike lanes and expensive over the top rapid transit lines. Let me not start on that topic. All in all Vancouver democracy is broke. Vision is sick. Our elected representatives re out of touch. Time to vote them out before the rest of Vancouver is destroyed with cheap slaps of concrete and glass high rise 1 to two bedroom cubicles. Way to go Vision, Vancouver's solution to bring up our next generation of families. Maybe you all should take a trip to Washington DC and see what real densification can achieve in 8 story high rises. Vancouver is sinking in concrete

      Joss Granite

      Mar 15, 2014 at 11:23am

      Awesome! Everything is cool when you're part of a team like Vision!

      James Blatchford

      Mar 15, 2014 at 12:56pm

      The world is urbanizing; cities must densify. Not your city, you say? Good luck with that.


      Mar 15, 2014 at 4:10pm

      A good part of those condos will remain empty, much like those in downtown Vancouver. Offshore investors will buy them in pre-sale and simply hold them as a way of keeping their money safe from Chinese authorities.

      I would have no problem at all if I knew for sure that most of them would either be bought by people who live live there, or they will be put into the rental stock. But history in Vancouver has shown otherwise.


      Mar 15, 2014 at 9:09pm

      Most of those who ere opposed and were in attendance at the Public HEARING were 60+ years of age. I'm glad we heard their feedback. However, growth is inevitable and needed for the next generation. This development will benefit many Vancouverites and the "growing" generations. Densification? Welcome to a growing World.


      Mar 15, 2014 at 9:53pm

      The just held a meet at city hall on March 10 and another one back in October I believe.


      Mar 15, 2014 at 10:45pm

      “We’ve had very, very loud comments from the neighbourhood and even other parts of the city saying it’s not a park if it’s up on a rooftop and circled by a whole bunch of mostly strata condo towers…”

      And why not?


      Vancouver's a city. Maybe we should try acting like one.

      James Green

      Mar 16, 2014 at 10:09am

      People who support this kind of project have no understanding of how to grow a city.
      Our services are inadequate now meaning our schools, policing, affordable housing, health system, sewer system, streets, transportation system, social safety net are all underfunded and inadequate now ,and this development will add to the economic shortfalls this city has experienced over the last five years. Growth must be in step with the services required to support growth or density. This can only be assured with a 10 to 20 year economic business plan that forecasts the financial, social, public safety, educational and other needs of the city and what taxpayers will have to pay to keep up with growth or densification if you will.
      Without this ,this city facing a difficult future on all fronts.
      This council is merely fulfilling it's commitment to its campaign contributors such as Westbank , Bob Rennie and others by allowing this type of short term money maker for developers to go ahead without sound a demonstrated economic plan. To all of the organizations who know the game Vision is playing I say get involved politically and support candidates who understand that we must grow this city with an intelligent prudent, well thought out long term plan that assures sustainability for the long term and stability for taxpayers and preservation of our neighborhoods and the life styles many have and that may not mean 400 square foot apartments called homes.
      And we must ask ourselves; does densification to make wealthy developers more wealthy where we want to go and will this project improve lives of the people of this great city and will the housing in this project be affordable and can taxpayers afford it in the long run? With what has been presented with no disclosure to thr public of a business plan for this project I see major problems based on non answers to what I pose here.
      To the mayor I say your promised to protect neighborhoods, end homelessness, and run this city within a fiscally responsible manner and this has gone unfulfilled and continuing this pop up planning process without a city of Vancouver Plan and proper business plan is absurd. It is time to restore democracy in this city where the citizens have equality with developers and for us to elect a mayor and council not bought and paid for by developers. It is time for a new direction for this great city .


      Mar 16, 2014 at 1:00pm

      It's a solid plan. People who oppose it are being shortsighted, selfish, and obtuse.

      If you build big near transit hubs, you can save the precious "leafy green" neighborhoods elsewhere.

      Growth is happening; deal with it, nimbies.