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Oakridge Centre the largest development in Vancouver's history

Vancouver's new iconic commercial and residential building, which is not owned by the development team, at the corner of Cambie Street and West 41st Avenue

Moments"With First Light, John Hogan has been invited to use the canvas of the building to explore how light and glass can combine to create thousands of luminous sculptural moments throughout the project.”

After more than a decade of planning, construction is set to begin on the Oakridge Centre redevelopment by the end of the year for a full completion in 2025.

“Oakridge is one of the rare communities that has embraced densification and as it’s on a major transit line, it made perfect sense for the city to look at it as another municipal town centre. And it’s also near the geographical centre of Vancouver.”

The 28.5-acre property was acquired by local developer Quadreal Property Group from longtime owner Ivanhoe Cambridge last year with the intention of moving forward with the redevelopment.

Since then, the project team has grown to 50 firms, with the design team alone consisting of five architectural firms, including project lead Henriquez Partners Architects, Tokyo-based interior design firm Wonderwall, locally-based firm PFS, San Francisco-based Gensler, and Toronto-based Adamson Associates Architects.

The new Oakridge Centre

Unlike previous designs that retained significant portions of the existing shopping centre, the new Oakridge Centre – described by the lead architect as a “hilltop town” on its own – will be a new, purpose-built complex.

“We’re not just recapturing parking and grafting residential onto the existing shopping centre, Oakridge is a fully integrated experience,” said Remco Daal, president of Canadian Real Estate for QuadReal Property Group. “As a consequence, our design requires that every square inch of the retail of Oakridge be newly built.”

Only the office building and the residential building, which is not owned by the development team, at the corner of Cambie Street and West 41st Avenue will be retained.

While there will not be any improvements to the exterior of the residential building, the office building will be re-skinned to ensure its look blends in with the rest of the redevelopment.

The floor area of retail at the new multi-storey shopping centre will almost double from the existing 574,000 sq. ft. to about one million sq. ft., with an east-west galleria spine running from the SkyTrain station to the development’s western edge.

There will also be a new indoor mall area on the existing site and a pedestrian-only, outdoor high-street lined with retail running north-south along the length of the mall’s perimeter to the west.

A new public perimeter road will also run on the western edge of the property.

A large 50,000 sq. ft. food court is planned, but it will be a departure from the traditional food court format with its ‘Kitchen’ concept.

“The idea is that when you go to a house party or have a party at your house, everybody inevitably ends up in the kitchen. And so we kind of said to ourself, why is that and how does that manifest itself?” said Gillespie.

Approximately 6,000 people will live in 2,600 residential units within 10 towers and four mid-rise buildings, with the mid-rise buildings dedicated to 290 units of rental housing and 290 units of social housing.

New office space, with large, open floor plans geared for the tech and creative industries, for 3,000 employees will be located in the lower floors of the towers near the SkyTrain station.

As part of the redevelopment’s community benefits, the developer will build a new 100,000 sq. ft. community centre at the northwest corner of the site. It will include community spaces, seniors centre, a daycare facility, and the new second largest branch of the Vancouver Public Library.

When complete, the new Oakridge Centre is expected to attract 42 million visitors per year, including 26 million shoppers, five million cultural visitors, two million library visitors, four million residential visitors, and five million park visitors

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