HousingSen̓áḵw construction expected to begin this year; service agreement signed

Sen̓áḵw construction expected to begin this year; service agreement signed

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The development of the biggest purpose-built rental community in Vancouver history has taken an important step forward.

A service agreement between the Squamish Nation and the City of Vancouver was signed on Wednesday for Sen̓áḵw — a mixed-use project that the Nation plans to build next to the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver, in partnership with Westbank Corp.

The service agreement ensures the development will be connected to City of Vancouver water and storm sewer services, and will also include significant upgrades and investments to pedestrian, cycling, transit and road improvements. The specific terms of the agreement were not available at time of publication.

“Sen̓áḵw has been a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh village site for thousands of years. With the overwhelming support of our Squamish People, the Sen̓áḵw development will generate enormous wealth for our community and see the return of Squamish People to our village that past Canadian governments forcibly evicted us from,” says Squamish Nation Spokesperson Sxwíxwtn, Wilson Williams.

Once complete, the Sen̓áḵw development will include up to 6,000 purpose-built rental homes in towers up to 56 storeys. Architects are Revery.

Bridge view of Sen̓áḵw
Bridge view of Sen̓áḵw. Credit: Revery Architecture
Sen̓áḵw fish tower base
Sen̓áḵw fish tower base. Credit: Revery Architecture

Construction on phase one of Sen̓áḵw is expected to begin later this year, with construction on phase two planned to begin in fall 2023, and phase three in 2025.

Partial financing for the development of Sen̓áḵw will come from the largest loan in the history of the CMHC, funding the first half of the development (seven buildings). The loan also includes provisions for approximately 250 rental homes being made available to Squamish Nation members at reduced monthly rates in the first two phases.

Sen̓áḵw ferry station with boats
Sen̓áḵw ferry station with boats. Credit: Revery Architecture

Senákw will be the first large-scale, net-zero carbon housing development in Canada — and one of only a few in the world. This will be achieved with a low-carbon, district energy system, high-performance building envelopes, as well as mass timber construction for some of the towers.

To learn more about Senákw, read our past coverage:

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meisznerhttps://www.peterforvancouver.com/
📢 I am running for Vancouver City Council with A Better City (ABC) and Ken Sim! Visit peterforvancouver.com for more information.
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