The Squamish Nation has voted to move forward with a development under the Vancouver Burrard Street Bridge in partnership with Wesbank Projects Corp.
Members approved the project, voting 87 per cent in support of the land designation. According to the Nation, the development of the 11.7-acre parcel of reserve lands at Sen̓áḵw represents the single largest development on First Nation lands in Canada.
“The Squamish Nation Council is thrilled with the outcome of this referendum, which was approved by a landslide. This is truly a landmark moment in our Nation’s history. The Sen̓áḵw Project will transform the Squamish Nation by providing immense social, cultural, and economic benefits to Squamish Nation members for generations to come,” said Khelsilem, Squamish Nation councillor and spokesperson.
The Nation plans to build 11 towers at the south end of the Burrard Bridge near Vancouver’s False Creek, with the tallest being 56 storeys high.
The project sits on reserve land so it is not required to go through any of the City of Vancouver’s approval processes or follow its restrictions, such as height and parking. For example, just 10 per cent of the homes will be provided with parking stalls, well below the municipal standard, to lower construction costs and encourage the use of sustainable modes of transportation.
Construction on the first phase is expected to begin in 2021. Once complete, the $3 billion project will bring approximately 6,000 new units into the Vancouver housing market, with 70-90 per cent of those being market rental units.