Tsleil-Waututh’s Apex Village complex gets federal funds

A Tsleil-Waututh Nation plan to build a new commercial plaza and road connecting Mount Seymour Parkway to Dollarton Highway is getting a $2.8-million boost from the federal government.

Apex Village, a 4.3-hectare commercial development, has long been in the Tsleil-Waututh Nation's plans for the Burrard IR 3 lands at the end of Apex Avenue.

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According to the band’s land use plan, the complex is expected to “allow developments that provide goods and services that meet the interests of the surrounding community and provide opportunities for TWN-owned and TWN member-owned businesses.”

The federal funding will help cover the cost to extend road access as well as water and sewer servicing to Apex Village.

The nation’s land use plan shows Apex Avenue extending to Maslum Drive at the north end of the Ravenwoods development.

The funds come from an Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada program to help First Nations and Inuit communities launch their own start-ups.

The nation anticipates Apex Village will create 44 full-time jobs and one spin-off business, generating economic benefits of close to $43 million over eight years, according to a release.

“This partnership provides an opportunity for Tsleil-Waututh to further our journey of self-sufficiency and economic prosperity, for the benefit of present and future generations,” said Chief Leah George-Wilson in a release. “Through a community-based planning approach, we strive to preserve Tsleil-Waututh values in our land and business development activities, to ensure we make decisions that sustain and strengthen our culture and community.”

The road and services for the first phase will be complete in early 2021, according to the release.

The release states they’ve already signed an anchor tenant for the complex.

The nation did not make anyone available for an interview about the project. The Tsleil-Waututh Nation has 580 members, about half of whom live on reserve.

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