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6,000 homes, 11 towers up to 56 storeys on Squamish Nation lands in Vancouver

The south end of the Burrard Street Bridge will be transformed into a dramatic gateway to Kitsilano with 6,000 homes in 11 towers, once plans by the Squamish Nation are fully realized. The development could be home to 10,000 residents once complete.

In an announcement last week, the Nation unveiled the latest development plans for their site, located on both sides of the bridge.

Squamish Nation lands
Map of Squamish Nation lands around the Burrard Street Bridge. The former Molson Brewery, now owned by Concord Pacific, is shown on the northeast corner of the intersection of Cornwall and Burrard, adjacent to the proposed development by the Nation. Credit: Squamish Nation

Up to 80 per cent of the homes will be rental, and the development, known as Sen̓áḵw Lands, will have sparse parking — stalls are planned for only 10 per cent of homes in the hopes of encouraging residents to use transit, walk or cycle.

The Nation has the power to collect strata fees and property taxes on any market condominiums, and may include social housing units in the development as well.

Renderings: Squamish Nation rental homes at Burrard Bridge

Squamish Nation rental rendering
Podium rendering. Credit: Revery Architecture
Squamish Nation building facade
Tower façade. Credit: Revery Architecture
Squamish Nation basketball court rendering
Rendering of basketball court under the Burrard Street Bridge. Credit: Revery Architecture

Latest plan doubles unit count from 3,000 to 6,000 homes

Earlier in 2019, the Nation said it planned to build 3,000 homes on the site, but the economic development opportunities plus Vancouver’s tight rental market inspired a doubling of the unit count, according to a statement from the Nation.

To realize the development, they’ve partnered with well-known, Vancouver-based developer Westbank, with design by Revery Architecture, formerly Bing Thom Architects.

The tallest of the residential towers is expected to be 56 storeys — for comparison, Vancouver House, also by Westbank, is 62 storeys.

The design will incorporate Indigenous elements on the exterior, as well as the interiors of the units.

Development falls outside of City of Vancouver jurisdiction

As the property is on reserve land, City of Vancouver bylaws and the development planning and permitting process will not apply to the development. Residents in the market rentals will also not be subject to the Residential Tenancy Act, however, the Nation may adopt the provincial act for the site or create its own.

However, the development will likely still need to be connected to city water and sewer services.

Construction could begin as early as 2021, but not before the project heads to a referendum vote by Squamish Nation members on December 10, 2019.

Development could change plans for Molson Brewery site

Adjacent to the Squamish Nation (Sen̓áḵw Lands) site, sits the former Molson Brewery, purchased by developer Concord Pacific in 2016, and now closed.

The brewer has since opened a new facility in Chilliwack.

Currently, the former brewery site is zoned industrial, however, Concord Pacific is mostly known for building high-density residential towers. The development of the Sen̓áḵw Lands by the Squamish Nation could make it easier for Concord to rezone the site to allow for residential.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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