A proposed 879-unit development on South Fraser Way goes to council for its input Monday. A proposed 879-unit development on South Fraser Way goes to council for its input Monday.

Huge 879-unit central Abbotsford seniors development to go to public hearing

First stage would see building of 300 apartments for seniors, to be managed by Menno Place operators

A massive proposed development set for the city’s core will go to a public hearing after Abbotsford council signaled its enthusiasm for the project Monday.

Emco Developments hopes to build nearly 900 apartment units on three adjacent sites on the north side of South Fraser Way, just northeast of Sevenoaks Shopping Centre.

Staff say the development would be a key component to advance their vision for a denser, more-walkable city centre.

The first phase would see a pair of 18-storey towers built to house 300 seniors. Half of those units would be assisted living, the remainder would be classified as “independent” living. All would be managed by the Mennonite Benevolent Society – which operates Menno Place.

RELATED: Images reveal size of huge development proposed for central Abbotsford

RELATED: Taller buildings and more people: Abbotsford’s plan for a new city centre nears completion

The other two sites on the five-acre site would be developed in subsequent phases. The second site could see a buildings as high as 30 storeys, with a mix of commerical, office and residential space in it and two smaller buildings. The third site would see a pair of buildings, one up to 14 storeys tall.

Council got their first chance for input Monday and voted to send the project to a public hearing.

Mayor Henry Braun and several councillors suggested the development would be a catalyst for future growth in the area.

Staff has recommended council give the plans first reading. If they do so, the proposal will go to a public hearing at another date.

“The proposed development is of significant scale and is anticipated to help anchor and support the creation of an energetic City Centre with the highest concentration of residents, employees, and visitors in the only neighborhood where high rise development is permitted,” staff write in a report to council. “The proposal, if approved, will act as the eastern gateway along the South Fraser Way Signature Corridor and is anticipated to offer a variety of public spaces, vibrant public life and animation.”

To get the city’s sign-off on the construction of such a dense development, the apartments on two of the three sites will be limited to rental-only. That would boost Abbotsford’s meagre supply of rental housing by about 519 units, and bar them from becoming strata units.

The developer will have also have to build two new plazas accessible to the general public. One would connect South Fraser Way to Yukon Crescent, the other would be located at the intersection of South Fraser Way and Fairlane Street. A full traffic signal would also be installed at that junction. The city also expects to collect around $640,000 in developer contributions to go toward transit and bicycle infrastructure, along with park enhancements.

The development is slated for a chunk of land currently divided into 16 single-family lots and two commercial properties. The site will be restructured, and roads in the area will be shifted, with Yukon Crescent moved 14 metres to the east. The developer owns all the land in the area.

Fourteen homes currently sit on the site, many of which are still occupied by residents. The developer must give four months notice to residents of their pending eviction. Under provincial rules, residents must also be given the equivalent of at least one months free rent. The developer says they’ll also provide money twice the amount of tenants’ rent to help with relocation costs. Re/Max, which has been contracted by the developer to handle the eviction process, says the owner knows that relocating may be difficult for some tenants. The letter says many tenatns are paying below-market rates and may have trouble finding a new home.

Eleven of the homes will be demolished, while three will be moved off-site. Re/Max also said it would help tenants to relocate to other homes in its “portfolio.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
tolsen@abbynews.com


@ty_olsen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The first stage of development would see the construction of a pair of 14-storey towers.

Nearly 900 units of housing are proposed to be built in three phases on the north side of South Fraser Way.

Just Posted

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

The 2020 Rotary Club of Chilliwack Book Sale is moving from Chilliwack Mall to Heritage Park to allow more room for physically-distanced shopping. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rotary Book Sale moves from Chilliwack Mall to Heritage Park

The hugely-popular book sale is going ahead Oct. 25-31 with pandemic protocols in place

Organizers of the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival have decided to end the event after more than 20 years. / Bob Friesen File Photo
Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival cancelled – for good

Organizers say the event was so popular that too many people were attending to be sustainable

There are five general voting locations, and two advanced voting locations for the Abbotsford-Missing riding in the district. There are three general voting locations and one advanced-voting location for the Maple Ridge-Mission riding in the District. Elections BC map.
Where to vote in the District of Mission

All locations to vote in the District for the 2020 B.C. election

/ Kevin Mills Photos
PHOTOS: Movie crew transforms downtown Mission

The holidays came erly this year as the movie Cross Country Christmas was filmed downtown

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Surrey teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 after an altercation left an elderly man in critical condition. (File photo)
Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

The many faces of Daon Glasgow. (Photos: Surrey RCMP)
Glasgow found not guilty of trying to murder transit cop in Surrey

Transit Police Constable Josh Harms was shot Jan. 30, 2019 at Scott Road SkyTrain Station

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Most Read