Mixed-use development on the cards for former Esplanade theatre site in North Vancouver

·2 min read

North Vancouverites will get to have their say on whether they’d like to see the development of a mixed-use building go ahead at the old Cineplex Cinema site on West Esplanade.

City of North Vancouver council voted unanimously to move forward with a public hearing for a rezoning application to permit a nine-storey mixed-use development at 200 West Esplanade at Monday’s meeting. The site was home to the old movie theatre, which closed in April last year in light of the new state-of-the-art Park Royal location opening.

The development would offer commercial retail units at ground level, above-grade parking on the second level, and 75 market rental units, eight of which would be mid-market units. The building plan also boasts both indoor and outdoor amenities, including a gym and a separate lounge area indoors and planter beds, a play area, and a gazebo outdoors.

However, nearby residents have already expressed concerns about the project moving forward. At a developer’s information session on Sept. 19 last year, about six residents weren’t happy with the development going ahead, saying their main concerns were the height of the building and increased traffic. The developers responded that the height of the building, at less than 23 metres (75 feet), was in line with the city's Official Community Plan, and a traffic impact study had already found that the future building would have a very minimal effect on traffic in the area.

The report to council also noted that the building would be "harmonious with the transition from taller developments directly across Chesterfield to the east, and lower developments to the west," also adding the design would create an "engaging frontage along West Esplanade that includes a pedestrian plaza area."

The proposal would also see the design and construction of new a bike lane and sidewalk, including street lighting and landscaping, from the development site to Semisch Avenue. On top of this, a public art installation, with a value of $25,000, would be created to jazz up the area.

A public hearing on the project is set to be held at a future council meeting.

Elisia Seeber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Shore News