Highrises on horizon for White Rock’s Central Plaza

New owners of property say business as usual for now

Semiahmoo Peninsula residents can count on the uptown area of White Rock going sky-high in future, with the announcement that Landmark Premiere Properties has added Central Plaza to its land holdings in the city centre.

The company is currently designing and developing the 25-storey three-tower Foster Martin luxury apartment/commercial project planned for the 1500-block of Martin Street.

In its announcement Monday, Landmark said it plans to propose a similar highrise residential and commercial project at Central Plaza “in the years ahead.”

But Landmark president and managing partner Ray Chen was at pains to assure residents in a news release that it’s “business-as-usual” at Central Plaza: “We’re looking forward to building that future with our shopping centre tenants.”

The 162,000-sq.-ft. site, at 15182 North Bluff Rd., is home to more than 14 retail and service businesses, including the newly opened Nature’s Fare organic-food grocery store.

Chen said his company, which builds and markets “individually-tailored, multifamily residences” will be looking at Central Plaza to add value to businesses in the shopping centre and “creating a residential community White Rock can be proud of.”

White Rock’s uptown area is already pre-zoned for buildings up to 80.7 metres (265 feet) in height.

Central Plaza, which has been a business hub of the uptown area since the early 1960s, had experienced declining traffic since the 2011 departure of Shoppers Drug Mart to new premises on the Surrey side of North Bluff.

While a proposed H.Y. Louie IGA lease of the old store premises fell through, the space was recently renovated to accommodate Nature’s Fare, which opened at the beginning of June.

The three-tower Foster Martin development, which went before White Rock’s economic investment committee in April, is currently being fine-tuned to conform to town centre zoning before coming before council this fall.

If approved, it could go into construction by the spring of next year.

It would be the tallest development in White Rock so far, higher than the Miramar Village Bosa towers (17 and 21 storeys), and include 342 units, with floor plans starting at 1,100 square-feet and as much as 25,000 sq. ft. of retail space.

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