Squamish Council has given its endorsement of the land-use concept for the Waterfront Landing proposal, planned for the former Interfor sawmill site. This follows nearly two years of research, planning and public consultation on the project.
"Councils endorsement of the proposal to redevelop the site with multi-family units is a significant step forward, not only for our project, but for downtown revitalization and the Smart Growth on the Ground plan for the future," said Pridham Development Partner Sam Hanson.
In Committee of the Whole on June 20, Squamish Council viewed and discussed the general land-use concept created for the Interfor site by architect Norm Hotson, co-author of the Squamish 2000 Plan for Downtown.
The Waterfront Landing concept includes 1,400 units and is based on a variety of multi-family housing types, from townhomes to high-rises, situated around a large feature lagoon.
"This development should accommodate much of Squamishs growth over the coming decade in a highly sustainable way. Were excited to be bringing new downtown housing choices to the residents of Squamish," Hanson said.
When completed, about 3,500 new residents will be living within a 12-minute walk or aquabus ride of downtown Squamish.
The Waterfront Landing project team has held two open houses and a formal public information meeting. The project has enjoyed a generally positive response from the community.
"Squamish residents have expressed overwhelming support for both the environmental benefits of transforming a former industrial site into a people-friendly new neighbourhood, and for the public amenities the development will bring," Hanson added.
Pridham estimates $400 million will be spent on building construction and labour alone for the project, and has already invested in the Squamish labour force through expenditures on planning and engineering. "This land-use endorsement is the first step in the rezoning process, and were eager to obtain the remaining approvals from council so we can begin construction as soon as possible," he said.
Further economic benefit will be felt when the project is complete and Waterfront Landing residents are expected to spend between $4 million and $5 million a year on goods and services in downtown Squamish.
The next step in the approvals process will be councils consideration of the project in detail through a proposed rezoning bylaw and sub-area plan OCP amendment, a process that will include a public gearing.
Pridham Development is a B.C.-based partnership that acquired the Interfor site in 2004.