Whalley Legion redevelopment ‘Veterans Village’ gets another redesign

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View looking south-east at corner of City Parkway and new 106A Ave

New renderings were released this week of Lark Group’s upcoming ‘Veteran’s Village’ project – set to replace the existing Whalley Legion at 106 Ave & City Parkway. This latest design is the 4th redesign to be released publicly since the project was first announced back in 2015.

Design Progression

Initially, in 2015, the project was to feature twin towers resembling the Vimy Ridge Memorial in France. The design, by Michael Green Architecture, was noted to be conceptual at the time, and later proved to be a bit ambitious of an undertaking for the project.

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2015 design for Veterans Village

In late 2016, a new design was revealed for the project, scaling it back to a single building of lesser height, and less iconic of architecture, yet still featuring reference to the Vimy Ridge Memorial, and situated on a site surrounded by expansive plaza space.

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2016 design for a single tower project

A year later, in November 2017, an application was finally submitted for the project, but based on yet again, another redesign. This time, the project appeared to be scaled back even more. Much of the plaza space depicted in early designs had been eliminated, and the building’s architecture further simplified.

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2017 Rendering looking east from City Parkway

Now, as of April 2018, a radical redesign has been released, showing a return to a 2-tower project, with a much more iconic, urban, and architecturally forward design. The tower has retained its reference to the Vimy Ridge Memorial through a creatively designed facade, and now fills out the block that it occupies in a much more urban form. Wide sidewalks are depicted on both City Parkway and 106 Avenue with double rows of boulevard trees – in what looks to be intended as a quasi plaza space at the base of the tower, integrated with the sidewalk. The tower heights have also changed – with the main tower depicted at 21 storeys and the tower behind at 27 storeys.

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2018 design for Veteran’s Village looking north-east at corner of City Parkway and 106 Ave
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Project location with City Centre Plan

With this return to a 2 tower design, it is unclear whether the 2nd tower is an envisioned 2nd phase – or if both will be built at the same time and also serve the same use purposes. From Lark Group’s website, the project is described as the first of its kind in Canada, and will be:

A multi-purpose facility designed as a centre of excellence in clinical and rehabilitation services for Veterans and first responders, with a mix of social and affordable housing.  It will include space for research and delivery of health care programs, services and trauma counselling to address issues like PTSD. It will also provide clinical spaces to advance evidence-based services and programming in health, science and engineering, including innovations in robotics, assistive devices and exoskeletons for injured Veterans and first responders.

With the latest rendering release, it appears the project is getting closer to its final design, and it’s likely that it could appear before Council for preliminary approval in the coming months. Based on this, the project is likely to begin construction sometime in 2019.

New renderings released for Whalley District

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New renderings have been released by Adessa Visuals of Tien Sher Group’s upcoming Whalley District near 108th & King George Blvd. The 3-tower project which currently has preliminary approval, is expected to begin on its first phase – a 35-storey condo tower + 6-storey condo low rise with retail at grade – later this year.

Adessa Visuals specializes in creating photo-realistic architectural renderings for projects across Metro Vancouver. These latest renderings help to bring the project to life and visualize the finished product. From the renderings, it is clear to see how transformative of a project this will be for the area of 108th & King George Blvd – which has become notoriously run-down in recent decades. In addition to condos, the project will also bring retail, community arts space, and an outdoor plaza.

This development will add to developer Tien Sher Group growing number of buildings in the area, having already built the 5-storey Quattro buildings across the street on Whalley Blvd, and set to begin on another 5-storey project across from the site at Whalley Blvd & Grosvenor Rd by next year. Whalley District will be phased, starting with the 35-storey tower at the east end of the site, and then working west to complete the 37-storey, and finally 46-storey signature tower. While the first tower could begin later this year and complete by 2021, it is expected the entire development will not be complete until around 2025.

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View looking North
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View looking north on 107A Ave towards proposed plaza on 136A St
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View looking south from King George Blvd
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View looking west from Whalley Blvd & 107A St at first phase of project featuring a 35-storey condo tower and 6-storey condo building with retail at grade.

For more on the project: http://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/PLR_7915-0305-00.pdf

‘Whalley District’ heads to Council on Monday June 12

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Tien Sher Group’s long awaited ‘Whalley District’ is finally heading to Council on Monday June 12 for 1st & 2nd Readings. The project which first appeared in 2012 under a previous application, and then again in 2015 under its current application, is aiming to kickstart a revitalization of the historic heart of Whalley near 108th Ave & King George Blvd.

Details of the plan released in the Planning Report to Council indicate that the project will be built in 3 phases as outlined below:

Phase 1:

    • A 6-storey condo tower with retail at ground level fronting Whalley Blvd
    • A 35-storey condo tower with retail, arts, and plaza space below.
    • 4 live/work townhouse units
    • A 426-sq. metre (4,585-sq.ft.) street-level outdoor plaza at the intersection of future 136A Street and 107A Avenue. The plaza is intended to be used as a public gathering space where frequent weekend entertainment, education, and art events can take place. The applicant has proposed to partner with a non-profit arts and culture organization (Flamingo Square Arts Connection) to activate the space.

Phase 1 will include a total of 349 dwelling units. The commercial component for Phase 1 will consist of 1,960 square metres (21,095 sq.ft.) of floor area.

Phases 2-3:

  • A 37-storey condo tower with retail at ground level
  • A 46-storey condo tower with retail at ground level, including a large-format grocery store.

It is expected that Phase 1 of the project will get underway by Spring 2018.

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