A massive redevelopment plan for Oakridge Centre mall was approved by Vancouver city council on Friday, following a week of public hearings.
The plan will provide more than 2,900 new family housing units above the mall and includes 290 social housing units and 290 rental housing units. It will also result in nearly 425,000 square feet of office space, more than 1.3 million square feet of retail space, and over $228 million in public benefits.
“The new Oakridge Centre will support thousands of new jobs, build urgently-needed new affordable housing, and offer remarkable community benefits, including new childcare spaces, a new community centre and library, a new seniors’ centre, and significant new park space,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson in a statement.
The city estimates close to 1.5 million people will move into the Metro Vancouver-area by 2040, and Oakridge Centre fits within its regional growth strategy.
"This is a forward-looking project that addresses some of Vancouver’s most urgent needs: more job space, more affordable housing, more child care spaces and better support for seniors," said Robertson.
Long public consultation process
The city says more than 2,300 members of the public attended open houses on the project, some 505 online feedback questionnaires were filled out, and over 13,000 visited its consultation kiosks set up at the current Oakridge Centre.
While many support the revitalization of the 55-year-old-mall, located at 41st Avenue and Cambie Street, others have said the new towers — including a 45-storey skyscraper — are too tall for the neighbourhood and will create too much density and traffic congestion.
A vision to redevelop Oakridge Centre was first approved by council in 2007. According to the city's website, it will be another nine to 12 months before construction on the new mall begins.