Quick-name Vancouver's first "auto-oriented" shopping centre.
Here's a hint, it was developed in 1956.
It's Oakridge Centre.
And, indeed, it is auto-oriented.
With 3,300 parking spots, it's not exactly what you would call a "green" mall.
But that will likely change, according to a staff report going before city council on Wednesday which provides details on plans to redevelop the mall and surrounding property.
City staff says any new design should minimize traffic impacts and "encourage walking, cycling and transit over the private car." It's a direction embraced by Oakridge Centre owners Ivanhoe Cambridge.
The owners recently entered into a partnership with Westbank to redevelop the centre. Yes, Westbank is the same company that developed Woodward's and is behind the controversial highrise on Comox Street in the West End.
"The proponents intend to build on the success of the Canada Line by proposing an innovative transportation model that can allow Oakridge to evolve from an auto-dominated centre," the city staff report says. "This proposal will explore significantly reduced parking ratios while incorporating alternative initiatives such as car co-ops, bike and car valets, and bike and car share programs."
The development team also calls for a network of pedestrian streets, gallerias, mews and pathways linking public and green spaces across the development to promote walking.
The shift to alternative modes of transportation is not surprising in this city, considering the Vision Vancouver-led council's desire to go green.
In addition, city policy dictates that pedestrians and cyclists come ahead of the automobile when new development and infrastructure is proposed in Vancouver.
So how all this will go over with city council when it comes time to decide how many parking spots should be lost to parking for bikes is unclear.
Residents polled during community consultations indicated many people-both residents and visitors-will still want to drive."
There were also complaints the Canada Line is already too busy, particularly during peak times. And that will no doubt increase as more condos are built along the line, including the Marine Gateway project at Cambie and Marine.
Retailers also might have an issue with fewer parking spots on site, respondents said in a survey.
But for every complainer, there was someone embracing the go green vision of Vision, saying bike and car co-ops should be included in the project.
As for concerns about overcrowded Canada Line cars, a suggestion was to add more cars and extend the hours. The need to improve east-west connections by bus or other modes is also necessary to encourage people to use transit was also mentioned.
So, there you go-that's just the car/non-car debate.
Never mind housing, retail, community amenities, etc. that will be part of the redevelopment of the property. So what exactly will it all look like when it's done?
In the words of the author of the city staff report, Matt Shillito, assistant director of planning, "Oakridge Centre aspires to be a civic hub of activity that includes retail, office, residential, housing and a diverse array of civic spaces and amenities, creating a vibrant, culturally-diverse community that is lively and safe day and night."