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North Van’s Maplewood proposal finally goes to council

A decade after discussion and planning began, developers’ proposal for a 535-home and retail town centre goes to first reading in North Vancouver District this month

After five years of waiting in line and 10 years after it was included in the 2011 official community plan, the Maplewood Town Centre development proposal goes to North Vancouver District council December 13 for first reading.

Darwin Properties and QuadReal are proposing a project that includes 535 homes, including 374 condominiums in three buildings, a mix of subsidized and market rentals and a retail village.

Maplewood Gardens is a two-phase development that would revitalize an entire city block, with BC Housing managing the 80-unit rental building in Phase 1. The rental building will include 58 non-market homes for the existing families living on site, plus 22 additional rental units for middle-income households.

The development would appear timely, since total housing starts in North Vancouver for the first 10 months of 2021 reached just 411 units, down from 547 at the same time in 2020, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.(CMHC).

“We are excited to partner with QuadReal on this new family community that will serve many different demographics on the North Shore, giving people the option to stay in the community,” said Chris Wilkinson, senior development manager, Darwin Properties.

Within both phases of the proposed Maplewood Gardens will be 31,000 square feet of commercial and live/workspace, 15,000 square feet of amenities, a 2.9-acre central courtyard, 600 parking stalls and a new B-line rapid transit stop.

The residential rental vacancy in North Vancouver is currently at 2.8 per cent, according to CMHC..

In addition to qualifying income, as determined by BC Housing, the 58 rental units will be set at 25 per cent below market rates, which were pegged at $1,436 per month for a one bedroom in a 2020 CMHC survey.

A recent Colliers Canada report noted that most of the current Maplewood-area employees live elsewhere.

“There is a lot of employment currently in the area - around 2,000 jobs - but 80 per cent of those employees don’t live in the area, contributing to [traffic] congestion. This new development will provide housing so people can live closer to work. In addition, with an estimated 1,350 new residents in both phase 1 and 2, the proposed Maplewood Gardens development would provide significant benefit to nearby retailers,” said Russell Whitehead, associate vice-president at Colliers Vancouver.

“The Maplewood Gardens proposal will be going to first reading with the District of North Vancouver Council on December 13, after five years in the queue,” according to a QuadReal/Darwin Properties release.