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22 JUNE 2022
Grosvenor has acquired the Oakridge Transit Centre (OTC), one of the largest undeveloped sites in Vancouver, with plans to turn the 14-acre site into a new 1.5 million square foot, mixed-use community. On 41st Avenue near Oak Street, the upcoming project will be predominately residential, with approximately 17 buildings ranging in size from 4 to 26 storeys and 1,630 homes, including strata, market rental, affordable rental and social housing. More than 20 percent of the homes are designated as affordable housing, from city-owned social housing to moderate income rental housing. The development will also deliver a new childcare facility, two-acre public park and improvements to local pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.
Grosvenor’s development will follow the master plan that was designed by Vancouver architect, James Cheng, and approved by the City of Vancouver in 2020. Notably, more than 40 percent of the site will be set aside as publicly accessible spaces, including a two-acre public park and shops running parallel to Oak Street.
Michael Ward, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Grosvenor’s Vancouver office “This is a unique opportunity to acquire and develop a rarely available development site, one of the most significant in Vancouver. The acquisition allows Grosvenor to utilize our expertise in building exceptional communities and bring a significant amount of new housing, both market and non-market, new retail, community amenities and public realm benefits to the Oakridge neighbourhood. We look forward to building an integrated, sustainable and high-quality community at this prime Vancouver location.”
Grosvenor will lead all aspects of the development and owns the property with capital partners MOMC, the company that purchased the site in 2016, as well as Transca, Grosvenor’s partner on the recently completed Polaris residential development in Burnaby.
James KM Cheng Architects (JKMC), the master plan and design architect for the OTC shared “This is an incredible site at the heart of Vancouver that will become a serene, walkable, self-sustaining community with significant green space. This project is all about connecting to nature, with greenways, green roofs and a major publicly-accessible park – all designed for a sustainable, walkable lifestyle in a safe, central location that is close to everything.”
Cheng is the architect behind such esteemed projects as award-winning Grosvenor Ambleside, many of Vancouver’s most notable communities and towers, as well as many well-known developments around the world. The vision for OTC, he says, is to create a community around a park, a finely scaled neighbourhood with gentle density and an internal greenway system that will provide a calm, healthy central hub for residents and the neighbourhood alike.
In addition to a 69-space day-care, retail, park and public plazas, Grosvenor will deliver over 180 market rental, 45 moderate income housing units and 175 social housing units. This is in addition to the 1,120 residential strata homes and 24,000 square feet of commercial space. The project is multi-phased with a roughly ten-year timeline and is part of a conscious effort by the City of Vancouver to focus redevelopment in the Oakridge neighbourhood.
The community is walking distance to the Oakridge Centre redevelopment, which will bring new energy and life to the area through the addition of thousands of condominiums and rental homes, new workspace and retail, a food hall, and a community centre and park. In addition, OTC is located within walking distance to numerous schools, parks, hospitals, and across the street from the upcoming Jewish Community Centre development which will include a new community centre and park.
The development of OTC will set a high bar for sustainability, meeting Grosvenor’s net zero carbon commitments, as well as LEED Gold certification. The redevelopment will also be aligned with Vancouver city council’s recent changes to construction bylaws, reducing the use of fossil fuels and requiring cooling and air filtration for all buildings, as well as incorporating and advancing other sustainability objectives such as the City’s Climate Emergency Response and the Rain City and Biodiversity Strategy. This means exploring strategies such as green roofs, infiltration and planting zones and rain gardens to manage rainwater and incorporating strategies to enhance biodiversity both within and beyond the site.
The social benefits offered by the project are substantial and include approximately 330 social housing units (175 of which are to be delivered turnkey with the remainder to be built by the City of Vancouver), a childcare facility, two-acre public park and a cash CAC contribution to be used for safety improvements to pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure in the area. The MIRH (Moderate Income Rental Housing) component offers those who have an income of $30,000 to $80,000 per year an opportunity to secure housing within this vibrant location.
This is the second major mixed-use development announcement this year by Grosvenor. Earlier this spring, the company unveiled its master plan for a major 7.9-acre, pedestrian-focused development in Burnaby with more than 3,500 homes. This is in addition to the company’s successfully completed projects including Grosvenor Ambleside, Connaught, The Pacific and Polaris.
James Patillo, Chief Development Officer with Grosvenor added “We’re excited to be working with James Cheng again, as well as with the City of Vancouver, and to be able to leverage our international and local expertise to move this exceptional project forward and to leave this legacy for the city. Developing OTC is proof of Grosvenor’s continued and growing commitment to being active in Vancouver’s dynamic real estate market and to our unique best-in-class development strategy, led by the same development team that has successfully launched all our other local projects over the past nine years.”
Grosvenor continues its long-standing relationship with HSBC as they lead a syndication of five banks providing the land loan financing for the acquisition (BMO, CIBC, RBC, Desjardins). Grosvenor is now moving forward with Development Permit applications to the City of Vancouver for various phases, with construction likely to begin in 2025.
For more information: www.GrosvenorOakridge.com
Vice President, Corporate Marketing & Communications, Grosvenor Property Americas
+1 604 640 3535