A developer is hoping to build a new highrise on the former site of the Best Buy in Whalley.
The proposal, according to a planning and development report that will be at council on Monday (Sept. 16), is for a 25-storey office tower on the southeast corner (100th Avenue and King George Boulevard) of the Central City Mall in City Centre.
The proposal, which is still in the planning stages, is asking for council’s approval to amend the road network on the subject site, rezone a portion of it to comprehensive development zone (CD) from community commercial zone (C-8), and a development permit.
Staff is recommending the public hearing be scheduled for Oct. 7.
This office tower, according to the report, would be phase one of the “ultimate redevelopment of the Central City Mall site.” The future redevelopment of the rest of the site “will be addressed through a subsequent Master Planning process tied to a future development application.”
Each phase will be subject to rezoning and development permit applications.
Because of the proposed tower’s location, staff “encouraged” the applicant to increase the height of the proposed tower, the report reads. But the applicant declined, “noting that the building had been sized for anticipated market needs.”
The report also says the proposal, which is 656 feet from King George SkyTrain Station, “conforms” to the goal of achieving highrise, high-density, mixed-use development around SkyTrain stations.
The office tower will include 567,114-sq.-ft. of commercial office space and 16,168-sq.-ft. of ground-floor commercial retail space fronting King George Boulevard, Old Yale Road and future City Parkway.
The staff report says the proposed development “will add significant, AAA-quality office space to the City Centre,” which is “currently underserved with quality office space, as demand exceeds supply.”
Office and commercial uses, according to the report, will “help diversify the city’s tax base, allow people to live in proximity to where they work, and increases vibrancy in the City Centre.”
The proposal includes five levels of underground parking, for a total of 982 parking stalls. It will also include electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and EV-ready parking spaces.
The report says that pre-notifications were mailed out on March 7 to 1,369 addresses.
One resident wrote in to oppose the project, citing concerns that the highrise would “impact views from their property and therefore negatively affect the value of their property.” Staff says there was one letter received in support of the proposed tower.