Waterfront Landing park plans previewed

Proposed features include a bike skills track, waterfront walkways, lookout points, grassy mounds, and play structures

A dynamic community outdoor space along the water is the idea behind the proposed Waterfront Landing public park slated for the northeast side of the Mamquam Blind Channel.

The project's developers, Bosa Properties and Kingswood Properties, have applied for development permits for the park and Phase 2 residences of their master-planned community.

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An open house was held, as required by the District of Squamish as part of the development permit process, on Monday night at the Squamish Adventure Centre to collect feedback on plans for the park.

"It is a focal point of the community," said Wayne Vickers, vice president of development with Bosa.

Waterfront Landing, on 53 acres located at 1500 Highway 99 — formerly the Interfor mill site — will ultimately include approximately 900 townhomes and apartments.

Once completed, the neighbourhood will feature the waterfront park, a public plaza with amenities, shops, cafes,  trails, and pedestrian corridors.

The 4.3-acre park is slated to include waterfront walkways, lookout points, grassy mounds, play structures, an inter-tidal lagoon, and shoreline restoration.

There will be about one kilometre of continuous pathways, a bike skills course, a large community playground, and beach access.

"The network of trails is continuous and connects throughout each community," Vickers added.

A pedestrian bridge will eventually connect downtown Squamish to Waterfront Landing at the end of Victoria Street.

What there won't be is a motorized boat launch, Vickers acknowledged.

"We are thinking non-motorized," he said, adding that from a space and safety standpoint, a launch for kayaks and other non-motorized watercraft makes more sense for the location.

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Rendering of proposed Waterfront Landing public park. - Screenshot

Some type of waterpark is being considered for the Marina Village portion of the development, he said.

But running pipes through the proposed, natural setting of the park, for a spray park, "would be difficult."

In terms of residences, Phase 2, which will consist of 130 homes, was also on display at the open house.

Phase 1, Laurelwood, which is made up of 88 homes, has been in pre-sale since May.

Asked if he was concerned about all the talk of falling real estate prices in the region, Vickers said yes, and no.

"We are always concerned with the market. It is something that we are paying attention to," he said. "But we are an eight to 10-year project here so you plan to develop through a market cycle and if you develop good product, people will always see the value in that."

Last month’s home sales in Metro Vancouver were 26.8 per cent below the 10-year October sales average, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

The benchmark price of a detached home in Squamish in October — $968,500 — was down 5.7 per cent compared to six months ago, but up almost 89 per cent over a decade ago.

And, townhomes sales in October were up 8.9 per cent year-over-year, hitting a benchmark of $724,900.

The benchmark for condos, $487,500, was down 10.5 per cent compared to six months ago, but still up 73 per cent over a decade ago.

Council will receive a report regarding feedback provided at the open house and will consider the development permits for the park and the Phase 2 residences at a later date, likely early in the new year, according to Vickers.

Ideally, the ground will be broken on the community park in tandem with the launch of Phase 2, in the summer of 2019.

For more on the project, go to bosaproperties.com/projects/squamish.

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