Developers interested in district-owned land in Maple Ridge

March 23, 2012
By Monisha Martins – Maple Ridge News
Published: March 23, 2012 6:00 AM

The District of Maple Ridge is set to begin fielding expressions of interest from developers for a piece of prime real estate it owns in the downtown core.The three-acre lot between Haney Place and Valley Fair malls was purchased by the district last year for $3.7 million to try and jumpstart downtown development.

Bordered by Selkirk Avenue, 227th Street and 119th Avenue, the district envisions a mixed use commercial-residential development on the site – one that is environmentally sustainable or LEED certified and has amenities such as park space, public art as well as a percentage of units designated for affordable housing or rental stock.

In its first year, Maple Ridge’s town centre investment program, which offers cash rebates for development fees, reductions in building-permit fees and property tax exemptions as a way to entice downtown development, has already spurred more than $100 million in construction projects.

More than a dozen developers, who are eager to avail themselves of the cost-saving incentives have contacted the district to enquire about the three-acre property.

“I see tremendous potential in this and, of course, I’m hoping at the end of the day there is a profit,” said Coun. Al Hogarth, who was credited at council Monday for bringing the Smart Growth concept, which is followed in the downtown, to Maple Ridge in 2002.

“Coun. Hogarth has been instrumental in this. It’s not by accident these things happen, it’s by time commitment,” said Coun. Judy Dueck.

Coun. Corisa Bell was excited by how quickly the process had moved forward.

“I really like the concept of having a small percentage set aside for affordable housing,” she said.

Once expression of interests are received, staff will prepare another report for council which will help them shortlist developers.

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