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New apartment building approved for North Van's Mosquito Creek area

The City of North Vancouver has accepted the proposal for the build of a five-storey mixed residential and commercial project on Marine Drive
The proposed mixed residential/commercial building at 880 Marine Dr. in North Vancouver also includes upgrades to the nearby plaza. | Jadasi Development / Gateway Architecture

The City of North Vancouver Council has given the go ahead for a low-rise apartment building in the Mosquito Creek area, voting unanimously for its approval during a council meeting on Monday (April 17).

The five-storey project by Jadasi Development, set to take residence at 880 Marine Dr., will comprise 41 residential rental units, 11 of which will be built to meet adaptable design standards. At ground level there will be three commercial units.

With the address currently home to a Fountain Tire store, a zoning amendment will be established to change the site from a commercial (C-2) zone to a comprehensive development (CD-749) zone. This will enable the development of a public plaza, set to neighbour the new homes. West 15th Street and Marine Drive will be revitalized with a new sidewalk, curb and gutter, street lighting and trees, road paving and a new bus shelter.

“I think it will be a really big improvement with the upgrades to the public plaza, which doesn’t look particularly attractive at the moment,” said Coun. Tony Valente. “I know the bus stop that’s there has been there since before I started going to high school, so it’s definitely in need of an upgrade.”

Valente said the building itself may not be “particularly unique” esthetically, but its introduction would help satiate the dire need for rental housing in the city.

While all council members supported the proposal, applauding especially the affordability of the apartments, concerns were raised about the lack of cooling systems available for the homes.

Michael Cox, the architect for the project, said there are no plans to incorporate air conditioning within the apartments, but that the use of “high efficiency window systems” is designed to reduce heat gain during the summer.

Members weren’t assured, with many touching on how it needs to be looked at more seriously given the deadly heat-related weather events the city has recently experienced.

Coun. Don Bell said this project, and all future projects, should factor in increasing temperatures and the fact that “we’re going to see more heat domes” in the future.

“I think we need to recognise that, because we’ve had people dying from the heat,” he said.

It was a sentiment echoed by Couns. Shervin Shahriari and Holly Back, with Shahriari adding the project would be a “welcome addition to the neighbourhood” and Back adding it was a “great mix of rental units in a great location” – but both would like to see more attention given to incorporating effective AC.

Mayor Linda Buchanan, who championed the build and its design, touched on the costs involved. She suggested money could be saved in certain areas - culling the amount of parking available, for example - to ensure more money could be funnelled into air conditioning.

“[That way] we have a balance in terms of what people need in terms of a livable community,” she said.

Last month, council had voted unanimously to waive a public hearing for the project, following lack of feedback from locals.

Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

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