Sales for Pier 8 condo tower will open by end of year: developer

Development of a splashy 1,500-home harbourfront neighbourhood on Pier 8 is making headway.

Waterfront Shores recently signed a lease with the city to use a portion of the Discovery Centre as a showroom and sales centre for its long-awaited, 45-storey condo project, according to a report bound for the west harbour subcommittee Friday.

The lease marks an important step forward in the consortium’s plans to redevelop the city-owned former industrial pier into 1,500 condo apartments and townhouses, said Joe Valela, president of consortium partner Tercot Communities.

Valela said building permits to modify the leased space into a showroom featuring vignettes of condo designs will be filed in the next few months. Its completion and opening will see sales begin later this year, he added, with construction planned for 2024.

“We now have all the pieces that we need and we’re very pleased with where we are,” Valela said over a call.

The 45-storey proposal is still subject to a recommendation from planning staff that council would have to approve.

Meanwhile, according to the subcommittee reports, the city is currently in discussions with the consortium to explore the feasibility of a public parking component within its residential development.

One such measure would be to consolidate underground parking between development blocks, in turn providing “a better functional design of the neighbourhood and provide an opportunity to incorporate public parking into the underground structure,” the report states.

A layout for potential parking improvements at the Pier 8 development will be considered by the general issues committee April 19.

The subcommittee reports also included several other updates to the city’s $140-million plan to transform the west harbour into a vibrant commercial and mixed-use village.

Construction of Gateway Park, for example, will begin this summer and finish by the end of 2023. The triangular-shaped space stretches northward from Discovery Drive to the new Haida Avenue, complementing already completed projects like the Pier 7 board and boat slips.

Another capital project update in the report concerns two former industrial buildings the city considers key elements to its redevelopment plans.

One building is a two-storey “artisan market” including washrooms, meeting rooms, a lobby, vendor stalls, marina offices and a covered area for boat mooring, according to the report. Another is a single-floor, “open-air pavilion,” replete with removable walls to accommodate open-air and indoor uses year-round.

The idea is to have the buildings serve as a “multi-purpose, publicly owned and accessible” indoor anchor to the new pedestrianized areas along the water, said Chris Phillips, city waterfront project lead.

The city plans to have a general vision and formal design brief for the buildings by the end of this year. Design proposals will come by 2024 with construction set for 2025. Staff will report back to the subcommittee with more detailed framework for the design competition in May.

Clarification: The story was updated April 14 to clarify that the 45-storey proposal is still subject to a recommendation from planning staff that council would have to approve.


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