Plans finally for empty lot at entrance to downtown

After just putting up a new building on Lougheed Highway to the east, Wayne Bissky Architecture and Urban Designs are now proposing a six-storey building for the lot next door, at 223rd Street and Lougheed Highway.

A six-storey building

A six-storey building

A six-storey building is about to fill in a lot that’s been empty for most of the life of downtown and it’s expected to be key to the appearance of Maple Ridge’s centre.

After just putting up a new building on Lougheed Highway to the east, Wayne Bissky Architecture and Urban Designs are now proposing a six-storey building for the lot next door, at 223rd Street and Lougheed Highway.

“This is going to be a significant development in our downtown,” environmental services manager Chuck Goddard told council’s committee meeting Monday.

Bissky wants to build five storeys of wood atop a base floor of concrete with commercial and residential space.

Council only has to agree to changing the setbacks required in the area so the building can be located next to the sidewalk, as are other buildings along Lougheed.

The location is considered an entry way to the downtown area, which the District of Maple Ridge is trying to develop and densify in an eco-friendly way.

“I think our downtown plan, we’re starting to see it come to fruition,” public works general manager Frank Quinn said Friday.

“We look at that lot as a prime entrance to downtown.”

The application complements plans to renovate the south exterior of Haney Place Mall and all of Zeller’s, as Target, of Minneapolis, Minn., takes over the Canadian retailer.

Thrifty Foods in the meantime is about to start refitting the old Safeway in the east end of the mall, recently home to Haney Marketplace and Antique Mall.

The mall’s redevelopment also revived construction plans for two new residential buildings across the road, with a total of 96-condos.

As well, the owner of lots at McIntosh Avenue on the east side of 224th Street has also revised previous plans for a new building there.

Work also starts this summer on extending 227th Street south from Lougheed Highway to connect with Haney Bypass.

That project is part of the construction of a new community gaming centre in that location by 2013.

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