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Squamish council grants SEAandSKY amenity centre development permit

The amenity building contains areas for public and resident use. It will be just across from downtown over the Mamquam Blind Channel pedestrian bridge.

Residents who live in the new Waterfront Landing neighbourhood may soon have more to do within walking distance.

A public and residential SEAandSKY amenity building has recently received a development permit.

East of the pedestrian bridge that will connect SEAandSKY with downtown Squamish at Victoria Street, a large amenity centre was unanimously granted a development permit by Squamish council on Oct. 17 at a regular business meeting.

The majority of the building will be for SEAandSKY resident uses, such as a gym, hot tub, pool, games lounge, fitness rooms and viewing decks. About 25% of the building is dedicated public space located on the ground floor.

What that public space will hold has yet to be determined.

“The intent is not clear yet,” said Jonas Velaniskis, the director of planning for the District, at the meeting. “We know that the applicants are looking at a restaurant use.”

Additionally, there are public washrooms on both ends of the building.

Velaniskis said staff have had conversations with representatives of developer Bosa and Kingswood Properties about allowing public access to the resident-only use areas, but ultimately, the decision was in the developer’s hands. 

Mayor Armand Hurford said he was “happy” to see the building moving ahead, as he has heard from eager residents in the area about the amenities.

“It really rounds out the sort of arrival to that side of the water from the new pedestrian bridge,” he continued.

While Coun. Eric Andersen supported the development permit, he commented that although the architecture was “attractive,” it missed heritage contexts such as references to the previous sawmill on the site. However, he noted that there were still opportunities to do so through the public art potential.

Still, Andersen believed this should be something the District and council should keep in mind as the waterfront areas of Squamish continue to be developed.

“We have architects that obviously care, and they want to deliver distinctiveness, but what is authenticity and distinctiveness for Squamish?” he asked rhetorically. “It's an important question because we have a lot of prime waterfront real estate yet to be developed, and I think we should give attention to this.”

The pedestrian bridge over the Mamquam Blind Channel began construction this month. District staff noted the developer aims to finish bridge construction in the last few months of 2024.

This is one of two pedestrian bridges proposed to cross the blind channel; the other is associated with the Redbridge development on Scott Crescent. View the detailed report on this amenity building through council’s Oct. 17 regular business meeting agenda.

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