With five buildings to be developed on the wide swath of vacant land along Clement Ave., the area is set to undergo a huge change. Let's look into what's being proposed for all this land that's so tantalizingly close to downtown, yet still suggests its industrial roots.
Late last year PC Urban Properties submitted a proposal to the city to rezone land near the RCMP building on Clement (and Richter) – land currently zoned for industrial use. If you recall last summer, the land was flattened and the old BC Tree Fruits office and warehouse were removed. The Vancouver company plans to develop two buildings on the corner edge of the combined properties, and make the remaining bit of acreage a parking lot.
Further east along Clement, Kelowna’s Compass Real Estate Developments recently submitted a proposal to build three new industrial buildings on a two-acre parcel of land that sits directly across from BC Tree Fruits. The buildings in what they are calling the "Clement Business Park" will feature 24 units, each with approximately 160 square metres of first-floor space separated into warehouse and commercial/office space.
Could it be greater than the sum of its parts?
While there is no word yet on when council will weigh in on either developments, early indicators are that both developers are coordinating their efforts to build a unified streetscape for the long block between Ethel and Richter, and expectations are that a council meeting on the projects will occur some time in February.
PC Urban Properties' proposal plans include 150 residential units, and approximately 1,537 square feet allocated to ground-floor retail space. The two buildings will be six storeys high and share common surface parking with entrances from Vaughan Avenue and Clement Avenue. In the proposal PC Urban writes "while the existing Official Community Plan designates the site as industrial, based on pre-application discussions and meetings with the planning and engineering departments, we understand the proposed form of development is strongly aligned with the city’s objectives."
"We believe the proposed form of development is consistent with and strengthens the existing neighbourhood; provides employment generating opportunities to the city; [and] maintains continuity of the urban environment,” the company continues. “We are confident that the form of development is balanced and will function well for land use, parking, and tenant livability.”
As for the Clement Business Park, Compass Real Estate Developments has a website up explaining that the units to be built can either be purchased outright, or leased, and have listed an occupancy date of summer of this year. The recent signage they put up advertises the park being ideal for businesses like distilleries, wineries, and breweries. So not your average "Business Park" then?
This brings to mind that, back in early May of 2016, city council approved plans for a 60,000 square foot brewery named Starkhund to be built on the same land, however nothing has come to light so far – it was actually slated to open last year. I now wonder if they plan on leasing or buying up some of these units instead?
These two proposals along with the rental housing project we wrote about earlier this month, located across from the RCMP building, are certainly going to make Clement an industrious little corner of our city – thankfully it promises to be more diversified and human-scale than it is now.