From 1948 to 2006, the 14-acre property on the north side of West 41st between Oak and Willow served as the Oakridge Transit Centre (OTC), the "bus yard" for the city's trolley-wire system.
Now, after six years of planning, Vancouver city council has approved the plan for the site that will find a 17-building mixed-use development and a two-acre public park on the land.
On Wednesday, city council unanimously approved the application put forth by James KM Cheng Architects for the rezoning of the site.
TransLink sold the site to Intergulf-Modern Green Development Corp. for $440 million in 2016. The property served as an operations and maintenance facility for TransLink - primarily for vehicle maintenance, commissioning and decommissioning, as well as for storage of retired buses - for a few years after 2006, but in 2007 the transit agency had shifted its operations to its new hub, the Vancouver Transit Centre, located on Hudson Street at the site of the former Eburne sawmill. Prior to opening in 1948 as the OTC, the site had served as army barracks.
In 2014, TransLink began in earnest to plan for the future of the OTC on West 41st.
That culminated in city council approving a policy statement in 2015, which addresses subjects such as parks, public spaces, transportation, land use, density, built form, massing, sustainability and community amenities.
Cheng's architecture firm is behind several high-profile properties in Vancouver, including the Shangri-La Hotel and Residences, the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel and Residences, and the Pacific Centre redevelopment.
Developer Modern Green brought Metro Vancouver projects like Central at Garden City in Richmond, and Wesbrook Village at UBC.
“It Is a rare opportunity to have a 13.8 acre site," said Cheng. "It is an even more rare opportunity for this iconic landmark site to come with panoramic views. Our inspirations come from maximizing the amazing vistas of the mountains and Vancouver’s downtown skyline while maximizing the open green spaces for privacy and enjoyment.”
The plans for the site have changed slightly since late 2019 when the proposed redevelopment moved into the Open House public consultation phase.
Now the OTC project at 949 West 41st Avenue and 5469-5507 Willow Street will feature 17 buildings between one and 26 storeys in height. Housing at the development will include:
- 330 social housing units
- 180 secured rental housing units including 45 moderate income rental units
- 1,120 strata housing units
Additionally, the OTC site will have 2,229.7 sq. m (24,000 sq. ft.) of commercial space, a 69-space childcare centre, and a two-acre public park. A maximum building height of 83.8 m (275 ft.) and a floor space ratio (FSR) of 2.36 are proposed.
You can view all of the presentation materials for the OTC project via the Vancouver city council meeting agenda online HERE.
With files from Naiobh O'Connor/Vancouver Courier