BLOCK F DEVELOPMENT
Block F Rezoning Approved
The rezoning of the 22-acre parcel of land owned by the Musqueam has been approved after a multi-year process. It will involve the construction of over 1.2 million square feet of mostly residential buildings with a small amount of commercial space. The residential buildings will include a mixture of styles, from townhouses to 18-storey towers. There will also be a 15,000 square foot community center for all UEL citizens.
The next steps include the creation of the parcels of land and the construction of infrastructure. The lots will be sold to developers as 99-year leasehold properties. These developers will then construct the projects and market the individual homes. This is the same tenure method used by UBC on their development properties.
As the University Endowment Lands is provincial, the authority issuing the approval is the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, who currently is Peter Fassbender.
The Block F development project is led by the Musqueam Capital Corporation.
Block F Working Group
The UEL community had a role in the review process through the Block F Working Group, a committee established by the Community Advisory Council. Many recommendations of the Working Group were listened to by the property owner, their design team and the BC government’s team.
However, numerous significant concerns of the community group were not acted on, and the approval is going ahead with outstanding concerns and objections. The most significant outstanding issue is the tower height. The existing zoning allows for 4-storey buildings, and while there are benefits to building taller buildings, the Working Group felt that 12-storeys would be fine, but the 18-stories is too tall and will be out of character of the UEL and too overpowering for the surrounding environment.