On Thursday, Vancouver City Council approved a project by Mercury Properties -- a division of Hungerford Properties -- that would see a mixed-use complex with office and light industrial space built right next to Marine Gateway, further adding to the economic-focused development of that particular area of the City.
The complex will be located on 396 South West Marine Drive, in the Marpole neighbourhood of Vancouver. The site is right next to Marine Gateway, the mixed-use retail hub built around Marine Drive Station of the Canada Line SkyTrain, and is also half a block west of Wesbild's Marine Landing stacked industrial project.
The site, approximately 3.12 acres, is currently occupied by a KIA dealership and vehicle repair shop, with an ample amount of surface parking and an assessed land value of $61,241,000, according to BC Assessment.
Overview of density around Marpole. (Hungerford Properties)
The new project consists of a 19-storey and 11-storey building with office space at the top and light-industrial space below, all sat atop a three-storey podium with commercial retail space. There's expected to be 87 office units, 20 light-industrial units, and seven commercial retail units.
Renderings of 396 SW Marine Drive. (Hungerford Properties)
The commercial podium will also house a 37-space childcare facility, which will be handed over to the City as an in-kind Community Amenity Contribution. The City will then appoint a non-profit as the operator of the facility, while remaining responsible for the facility.
The City values the childcare facility at an estimated $6.2M. Hungerford will also pay $15.4M in Development Cost Levies and contribute $1.2M towards the City's public art program, bringing the total public benefits to just shy of $22.8M.
Renderings of the public space between the two buildings. (Hungerford Properties)
The future complex will be located within the Cambie neighbourhood of the Marpole Community Plan, which identifies the neighbourhood as an "intensive employment area" and encourages employment uses via office, industrial, and/or institutional uses. In the Plan, the City also says that it encourages employment uses that can generate more use of public transit, as this area surrounding Marine Drive Station was developed as a transit-oriented community.
To this end, Hungerford Properties says its project would "optimize the regional transportation investments" as a result of the site being within 200 m of the Canada Line SkyTrain, and estimates that the project will bring 1,500 new jobs during construction and employ 3,400 people post-construction.
"We understand that it is critically important to support the recovery of Vancouver's economy from impacts of the current pandemic," Hungerford Properties Partner Michael Hungerford wrote to the City when the application was submitted in 2021. "Our team is confident that this proposal will be a long-term catalyst for economic development around the Marine Drive Station."
Although the development application is now approved, a referral report published by the City ahead of the public hearing noted that with the project having an overall 4.5 Floor Space Ratio (FSR), the City requires that at least 1.5 FSR of that space be dedicated to light-industrial space, but the proposed design includes just 1.46 FSR. The City says adjustments will need to be made before the development permit stage.