Plans for a massive, high-density, mixed-use development have surfaced for a site immediately southeast of the Richmond Olympic Oval.
The proposal covers an area in excess of 20 acres at the northwest corner of the intersection of No. 2 Road and Westminster Highway, which is currently occupied by light industrial uses such as warehouses.
A formal application for N2W, the name of the project, has yet to be submitted to the municipal government, but preliminary details show this is spearheaded by Wesgem Communities Development and designed by GBL Architects.
Over a dozen buildings reaching up to mid-rise heights will have a total floor area of 2.9 million sq. ft., making this master planned community nearly 2.5 times larger than Vancouver’s Olympic Village.
This includes 1.9 million sq. ft. of residential floor area, entailing 1.2 million sq. ft. of condominiums, 500,000 sq. ft. of market rental housing, and 200,000 sq. ft. of non-market rental housing. The potential unit allocation is not provided, but this will undoubtedly produce homes for thousands of people.
Residents will also have access to a significant shared indoor amenity building, featuring programming such as a large swimming pool.
Lower building rooftops double as both private and common landscaped amenity terraces, while higher building rooftops are completely covered by solar panel arrays to achieve the project’s goal of using 25% renewable energy.
The redevelopment also features a significant new private school on the eastern end of the property with 300,000 sq. ft. of total floor area, including a student dormitory component. The striking school building design features a system of vertical fins for its exterior and an accessible green roof that doubles as an amenity for students, with the sloping roof structure gradually transitioning from the ground plain.
Outside the school on the ground level, doubling as a public park, there is also a large sports field, softball field, track-and-field area, basketball courts, and a playground.
A standalone building immediately east of the school and sports field contains daycare and community amenities. It also has an accessible green roof that ramps up from the ground.
Other uses in the redevelopment entail a 200,000 sq. ft. hotel at the site’s southeast corner, just south of the school. There will also be 200,000 sq. ft. of office and 200,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurants.
Passive House green building designs and the extensive use of wood materials are deemed as key features of this project.
The building density, forms, and uses align with the developments that have been constructed around the Richmond Olympic Oval over the past decade.
However, an official community plan (OCP) amendment is likely required, as this site is envisioned by the city for residential-only uses — just outside the neighbourhood’s mixed-use uses border. The OCP also calls for a public park on the N2W footprint of the school and the outdoor recreational facilities.
Building heights in the area are restricted by Vancouver International Airport’s flight paths.