After a multi-year hiatus, QuadReal Property Group is picking up where they left off with the redevelopment of Capilano Mall in North Vancouver, according to a pre-consultation application recently filed with the City.
The application proposes an amendment to North Vancouver's Official Community Plan (OCP), which would "initiate the development of a comprehensive master plan for the subject site," according to the City.
Capilano Mall originally opened in March 1967 and has seen multiple expansions and renovations since then as it became a staple of North Vancouver. It's now home to just under 100 retailers, including the only Walmart on the North Shore, who serves as the mall's anchor tenant. QuadReal Property Group has owned the mall since 1999.
Initial plans to redevelop Capilano Mall were first made public in 2019. At the time, public engagement with residents of the North Shore was completed, but the redevelopment process was then halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A brief history of Capilano Mall in North Vancouver. (QuadReal Property Group)
Capilano Mall Redevelopment
The subject site of the redevelopment plan includes both the mall on 935 Marine Drive and the surface parking lot (under a separate legal parcel at 925 West 3rd Street), which total to approximately 16.5 acres.
When the possibility of redevelopment was first raised, QuadReal said that Capilano Mall had served the North Shore for over 50 years, but that it was time to think about how it can best serve the community for the next 50 years.
Public engagement held in 2019 found that residents of the North Shore loved the region's connection to nature, needed more accessible public transit, and wanted more diverse housing options.
"Housing affordability is a key issue on the North Shore and throughout the region," a public engagement report said. "The Cap Mall site could provide a range of housing types, including workforce housing, and living options to accommodate a diverse community."
Part of the appeal of redevelopment is also that the site is on one of the RapidBus lines, providing a good connection to Downtown Vancouver and the rest of the North Shore, as well as the potential for a transit-oriented community.
If QuadReal's application is approved, a master plan will then be developed to determine future land uses and design guidelines for the project. According to the City, factors that will be considered and addressed in the master plan include, but are not limited to: transportation networks, community amenities, urban design, massing, access, and environmental features.
The City does note, however, that the site has several "development constraints," including the landslide risk, flood risk, and tree retention, among others.
"Given the broad impacts and opportunities the redevelopment of the Capilano Mall will have on the surrounding area, it will be crucial that the neighbourhood level impacts are evaluated to ensure an orderly sequence of development is facilitated, both now and in the future," the City said.
The master plan would not itself change the zoning or land use designations of the site, but would instead determine the zoning and land use designations that could be explored later on, subject to individual development applications.
In a Council meeting this evening, City Council will decide on whether to continue down this path or direct staff to work with QuadReal to explore other development options for Capilano Mall that don't require an OCP amendment.