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Mostly strata project in North Vancouver going all-rental

The developer says it is shifting away from strata projects
Maplewood Plaza Northeast Corner Sketch web
The already-approved Maplewood Plaza project in North Vancouver may be converted to an all-rental development.

An already-approved sizable development in North Vancouver’s Maplewood neighbourhood is about to go through a major change before it’s even built.

In 2018, District of North Vancouver council rezoned the Maplewood Plaza project, at 229 Seymour River Pl., to include 155 strata apartments and townhouses, along with 28 market rental units and 10 below-market rentals.

Landowner and developer Darwin Properties announced last Monday (March 14) that it partnered with QuadReal Property Group to change the project to be entirely rental. The project will also include a reduction in the number of parking spaces included in the underground. The 10,000 square feet of commercial space originally in the plans will stay.

Darwin issued a statement on Monday, saying the change in tenure is part of a shift in direction for the company.

“As North Shore developers, we believe in building a diversity of housing options for the community, and we are excited to be able to offer a boost to the area’s much needed rental stock,” a statement from Darwin president Jason Turcotte said. "We intend to prioritize rental housing on multiple sites on the North Shore in the coming years, in recognition that the barrier to entry for homeownership is now so high that rental housing is increasingly important.”

Darwin cited statistics provided by Colliers Canada, saying the Maplewood area currently has about 2,100 employees but only 626 homes. Only 20 per cent of Maplewood’s employees live in the area, the company asserts, due to a lack of nearby options.

“This demonstrates that a significant amount of additional residential supply is needed within Maplewood to support existing employment, particularly if the district is motivated to decrease congestion and increase the ratio of people who walk or bike to work,” the report stated.

The change will have to be approved by district council.

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