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Highrise development eyed for North Delta mall

Project would add 813 units of housing, including 124 for seniors and 65 purpose-built rentals
A preliminary development concept for the Delta Shoppers Mall site at 8037 Scott Road included in a memorandum to Delta council discussed at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The Delta Rise, the city’s first highrise project, is shown to the right, while the Real Canadian Superstore is just out of frame to the left.

A four-building, 800-plus-home development is being pitched for a shopping centre on Scott Road.

A preliminary concept for redeveloping the 2.4-hectare Delta Shoppers Mall site was the subject of a presentation to Delta council on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Last week’s meeting served as an opportunity for owner Value Property Group and architect Arcadis IBI Group to brief council and receive feedback before finalizing their plan for the site. The project is still in the design phase and a development application has not yet been submitted to the city.

As currently envisioned, the proposed mixed-use development would include a total of 813 one- to three-bedroom residential units: 624 market condo units in two 32-storey residential towers, 124 seniors housing units in a 10-storey midrise, and 65 purpose-built rentals in a six-storey midrise — 20 per cent of which are currently planned to be “below market” units.

The proposal is consistent with the site’s current designation under Delta’s Official Community Plan (OCP) and the North Delta Area Plan (NDAP), which permit a maximum height of 32 storeys, but the site would need to be rezoned to allow residential units.

The project would also include 79,374 square feet of retail space — a mix of shops, restaurants and entertainment that would include the existing TD Bank branch and a “health and fitness club,” creating what David Thom, president of Arcadis IBI Group, called “curated retail” that “works together and becomes a place in its own right.”

As well, the project would have 125,677 square feet of office space, which Thom said is “an important part of building a complete community,” as well as a 30-space childcare facility, 1,609 parking spots, and both indoor and outdoor amenity spaces.

The site would also have a central public plaza, pedestrian walkways through the bases of the towers to access neighbouring properties including the Real Canadian Superstore, and a north-south bike/multi-use path — part of a route proposed in the North Delta Area Plan to connect this and other mixed-use “nodes” along the Scott Road corridor.

Thom called the site the beginning of a “remarkable village.”

“I think there’s a vision in North Delta to see a kind of unique and special place,” he said.

Value Property Group CEO Chris Andison told council the project would not only add a “tremendous amount” of much-needed housing to the area, but create a “city within a city” consistent with the OCP and NDAP.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to provide an active commercial environment [and] amenities for the people that live there and live in the area because it’s a large enough site to do it,” Andison said. “It’s a tremendous site, we thought, to really add all of those things which we felt were strongly needed along the 120th Street corridor.”

The plan was well received by council, with Mayor George Harvie calling it the “first time I’ve seen in many years something that’s ticked a lot of boxes.”

Coun. Dylan Kruger echoed the mayor’s praise, saying he likes that the plan meets so many of objectives and policies laid out in the NDAP as well as the recommendations of the Mayor’s Housing Task Force for Scott Road.

“We have these area plans and these task forces that put a lot of work together, but there’s no point in having these documents unless we actually have projects come forward that conform to the vision,” Kruger said.

READ MORE: Walkable mixed-use neighbourhoods focus of task force’s vision for Scott Road

“What excites me about this project is the size of it,” he continued. “As opposed to looking at one-off buildings here or there, we’ve got a large enough site here where you really can, as [Thom] noted, put a complete community together.”

Kruger listed the variety of housing planned, the chidcare space, public plaza as highlights of the proposal.

“North Delta is I think missing that common gathering space right now where we can do community celebrations and events and festivals and farmers’ markets and things like that, so I see lots of opportunities there,” he said, adding he hopes to also see outdoor patios for restaurants.

Coun. Alicia Guichon said she was “a little shocked” by the proposal’s size and scope, though she also liked the “idea of a well thought-out, complete community” and thought the project was well planned.

“I just worry about — we’ve seen this before — division of the community with [regard to] expectations for areas, what the community is ready to wrap their head around and maybe what’s being proposed.”

Guichon also noted the need to look at the project’s impact on the city’s infrastructure, facilities and schools.

Mayor Harvie stressed the need for proper fitness areas to service the development’s residents, especially with so many people transitioning to working from home in the wake of COVID-19. Coun. Jessie Dosanjh voiced a similar need for those living in the seniors’ residence.

Harvie also said the number childcare spaces included in the proposal is “far too low” to support the families who will eventually live there.

“I would ask you to consider at least doubling that — in different locations, not all one area but a couple of locations — to match the demand that’s going to be there,” Harvie said. “The demand is actually there now. We have a critical shortage of childcare spaces and we’d like to leverage the opportunity for more spaces with projects like this.”

READ MORE: Walkable mixed-use neighbourhoods focus of task force’s vision for Scott Road

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Map showing the location of preliminary development concept for the Delta Shoppers Mall site at 8037 Scott Road included in a memorandum to Delta council discussed at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022.

James Smith

About the Author: James Smith

James Smith is the founding editor of the North Delta Reporter.
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