If approved, a 380-suite townhome development proposed for land adjacent to the Little Mountain site off Main Street will include an urban farm, daycare, rooftop gardens and fruit trees.
Vancouver realtor Al De Genova said the focus of the North East Quadrant development is “families and community.”
“I’ve worked on three projects in the past two years along the Main Street corridor so I’ve met a lot of young couples who said what they want is true family housing,” said De Genova. “They also said they can’t afford $1.2 million, but can afford $600,000.”
De Genova estimates two-bedroom, 860-square-foot townhomes in the project would start at about $429,000, while 1,000-square-foot, three-bedroom homes would start at $570,000. “Even then I hate to use the word ‘affordable,’” said De Genova, who said pricing was important in conceiving the project. “But they are certainly attainable.”
The boundaries of the project include West 33rd Avenue, Main Street, Quebec Street and what will eventually become West 35th Avenue. The project will be built on property adjacent to the former Little Mountain social housing site, which is being developed by Holborn Properties. If approved, between 60 and 80 units will be given to the city for use as accessible rental units.
De Genova and a team, including Walter Francl Architects and PWL Partnerships, are working on the concept. De Genova has also been going door-to-door and speaking to the residents living within the quadrant about selling their homes and so far about 70 per cent have listed.
De Genova said he is most excited about the urban farm, which would be located next to what will one day be the new Little Mountain Neighbourhood House. He imagines children from both the complex and community learning about farming. A permanent weekend farmers market is also included in the plan.
Vision Vancouver Coun. Raymond Louie met with De Genova about the proposal and told the Courier he likes what he sees — so far.
“The proposal his team is presenting is an interesting one,” said Louie. “But it will still be a matter of canvassing the neighbourhood to see if the residents agree.”
Louie appreciates the agricultural components of the plan as well as the suggested height of the development, which will be between four and six stories. “It fits with the stripping down of the taller buildings on the main [Holborn] site,” said Louie. “But of course, there’s much more work to be done.”
Louie added the fact the townhomes would be designed for families in mind with two and three bedrooms is also a plus. “But a lot will have to be passed by the community before the formal application,” said Louie. “We’ll be looking carefully at what the community needs and how it would fit within the community, but the proposed components seem to be a positive step.”
An open house regarding both the North East Quadrant and Little Mountain housing developments takes place Nov. 24 at Hillcrest Community Centre from 1 to 4 p.m.