Three 14-storey towers proposed for Maple Ridge’s new road

High rises will allow 249 apartments if rezoning is approved following public consultation

New towers are proposed for empty lot on 227th Street and would offer more green space than shorter buildings.

New towers are proposed for empty lot on 227th Street and would offer more green space than shorter buildings.

The newest road to connect with the downtown could have three 14-storey residential towers within walking distance of the new Maple Ridge Community Gaming Centre on Lougheed Highway.

If council approves the project, Concordia Homes will build the residential towers at 11641 – 227th St., across from a single-family home neighbourhood.

Concordia “believes that the market is there for empty-nesters who are moving from their houses to apartment units,” said Brian Shigetomi, with Atelier Pacific Architecture.

Current zoning allows for five-storey, wood-frame buildings. But if rezoning is granted, the high rises will allow 249 apartments, which could be slightly larger than usual.

The project would be built next to the conservation-ravine area currently being restored as part of the road-building project that’s extending 227th Street up to Lougheed Highway.

Shigetomi told council the project would feature green roofs on the two-storey condo building that will serve as a base for the towers.

The site is the last that Concordia has developed in the area.

A display home showing the intentions for high-rise construction has been on the site for years, so residents in the nearby single-family homes are aware of the changes, Chuck Goddard, manager of development and environmental services told council at its Monday committee meeting.

The development will provide more green space than if a five-storey building was constructed, as it would occupy a larger footprint.

A pathway through the complex would give some public access to an outdoor public area and the conservation area to the west.

Council saw a 10-minute video animation of the project at its committee meeting Monday before sending the application on to a future council meeting.

The public consultation process has yet to begin, says Shigetomi.

If council decides to give first reading, the applicant has to provide more details before second reading is considered.

Initially, an eight-story project was planned for the 3.5-acre site. However, land-use plans in the town centre concept plan called for single-family homes, said a staff report, while a previous report suggested only low-rise buildings be built.

Staff in 2008 asked for evidence that an eight-storey building wouldn’t affect nearby homes.

Since then, a site analysis, massing and shadow studies and a geotechnical assessment have been done. The studies also showed that there would be some shadow effects in the morning and early afternoon on nearby homes. However, because of the slope, the buildings would be a lower elevation than the downtown.

The project would have two vehicle access points that would be located between the three towers. A green roof would also cover the underground parking section of complex. Green roofs involve covering the roof with grasses, soils and shrubs that help mimic the natural environment and reduce water run off and help with heating and cooling of a building.