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Matthews West shows off construction progress at Oceanfront Squamish

Developer shares insights into design plans for incoming building near Sp’akw’us Feather Park

The Squamish Chief got a peek last week at the progress so far on the Oceanfront development planned for the shores of Howe Sound.

On Friday, June 2, developer Matthews West offered a short tour of the incoming brewery, Presentation Centre and Public House at Oceanfront Squamish.

Slated for the east side of the building is House of Lager Brewing, while the west side will host the Presentation Centre and Public House. The two-storey brewery has numerous south-facing windows with views of Howe Sound, the Stawamus Chief and Shannon Falls.

The Presentation Centre and Public House is three storeys tall, with the third floor serving as an area available for community use that could host several dozen people at a time. The second floor will be home to office space, and the first will house a public area with displays of the future design plans, including the incoming residential area slated for the region.

The director of development for Matthews West, Carlos Zavarce, told The Squamish Chief some of the factors that played a part in the design.

“There's a number of factors of the site that make it really unique,” he said. “[It’s] surrounded on three sides by water, which means we have to think about climate change and building for resilience.

“Early on in the process, we identified mass timber as one of these methods of doing the right thing, more or less, when it comes to climate and climate change.”

Mass timber effectively helps offset climate change through carbon sequestration.

Mass timber “can store carbon for generations, keeping it out of the atmosphere,” reads a provincial government explainer. Additionally, it replaces the use of less climate-friendly materials, such as concrete or steel.

Additionally, mass timber has a longer lifespan than other typical wood-frame builds, which Zavarce hopes to last longer than a century. For this particular build, he said that trees felled during constriction would be replanted.

The development’s cladding is also cedar harvested from cut blocks that were already downed, noted Zavarce, who acknowledged the build has taken longer than expected.

“It's certainly felt like a long time for us,” he said. “And it's definitely felt like a long time in the community, I’m sure.”

Matthews West hopes it is worth the wait, and Zavarce said the company is excited to welcome the public to Sp’akw’us Feather Park when it finally opens, expected next summer.

“We're going to have tons of opportunity to get [the] community back down to the water and back out into the water,” he said. “And that's what we're super excited about.”

In the meantime, some sections of the development area were recently opened for public use, in part, to help locals access the ocean more easily.

A map of the available parking area and walking area is available on the Oceanfront Squamish website. Matthews West requested that users respect the other closure areas for safety reasons.

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