Two more tall towers proposed for downtown Maple Ridge could raise the city’s skyline.
Bucci Developments, which owns ValleyFair Mall on Lougheed Highway, plans to build a 22-storey building on the same site as the mall.
A development permit is being sought to put up a 226-unit building on the northeast corner of the property on 228th Street but the application is in its early stages, according to the city’s website. The appropriate commercial zoning is already in place.
Another tall tower, 36 storeys, is being proposed for lots at 22577, 22587 and 22597 Dewdney Trunk Rd. If built, it would be the highest, and most-dense development (262 units) ever built in Maple Ridge, notes a staff report in the application, which council’s committee meeting on Tuesday sent on to its regular meeting.
Such a project would be built within the area of one block where high-rise structures have been proposed previously, though none have yet begun construction.
A previous application for a development nearby at the corner of Edge Street and Dewdney Trunk Road and Brown Avenue, called for three towers with the tallest one at 19 storeys. But that application has expired, although it could be revived, said the report.
At 36 storeys, the curent proposal would be two more storeys higher than a “sister” development planned for just to the north, across the alley, on Brown Avenue that would share parking facilities. The Brown Avenue proposal, made in 2018, calls for a 34-storey building. Currently, Maple Ridge’s highest building is 13 storeys, Baptist Tower, 222nd Street and Lougheed Highway.
The Dewdney Trunk Road project would have two underground parking levels and three parking levels above ground.
“Why can’t we do the parking underground?” asked Coun. Chelsa Meadus.
The project will have two parking levels underground and three above ground. “The soil conditions in this area do not allow for deep foundations to be created …” said planner Adrian Kopystynski.
The parking bylaw determines how much residential and commercial parking spaces are required for such a project, he added.
Meadus also wanted to know how long it would take before the project is built. The applicant has a year after first reading to submit the all the details of the project. A report would then go to second reading with builders given 18 months to complete a project after third reading, although that can be extended.
The report notes that the fire department wouldn’t be able to reach construction cranes on a 36-storey project, and wouldn’t be able to rescue workers on the sides of the building above the six-storey level. However, the department intends on being able to attain that capability in the future.
More details about fire department response will be given later.
“I’m hoping that when the fire department does comment, they can give us an idea of what would take place. I definitely need to have that information,” said Coun. Kiersten Duncan.
Recreation needs also have to be considered, staff said in the report. Given the large number of residents, “A recreation facility supporting the anticipated number residents needs to be provided within the development.”
Many details still need to be resolved, said planning director Chuck Goddard. He said that a full geotechnical report would be done as soon as the project gets first reading.
Council also on Tuesday considered a proposal to build a five-storey, 119-unit apartment building on three vacant lots at 22910, 22904 and 22922 Dewdney Trunk Rd.
Billard Architecture is making the proposal for the site which lies outside the town centre area plan.
The intent is to design a building that will blend in with the 1950s style homes in the area, and will feature an outdoor courtyard and be stepped back from the street and have studio, one- two- and three-bedroom apartments. Two underground parking levels will be part of the project.
Goddard said similar such proposals will follow along major corridors such as Dewdney Trunk Road, trying to integrate higher density development with surrounding single family homes.
“This is important to note, this a concept that we’ll likely be seeing on other parts of Lougheed and Dewdney Trunk, trying to integrate new development density on the major corridors, with the problematic, single family interface,” Goddard said.
It’s not known if the building will be condos or rental apartments.
Another proposal calls for a development and variance permit for two apartment buildings and three townhouses with a total of 153 units on a vacant lot at 11641 – 227th St., south of Lougheed Highway.