The largest proposed residential development near Abbotsford’s historic downtown in decades – and, possibly, ever – will come before council this afternoon.
The owner of the former Clayburn Brick Plant site hopes to build three apartment buildings and hundreds of townhouse units just north of the historic downtown.
The 599-unit project would be one of the largest residential developments in Abbotsford’s history and bring hundreds of new residents a stone’s throw from the downtown. Buildings at the south of the property, closest to the historic downtown, would include a handful of commercial spaces as well.
Council will vote today (Monday) on whether to give rezoning of the properties involved first and second reading. If they do so, the project will head to a public hearing.
Plans for the project show three apartment buildings on the southern half of the property, along with hundreds of townhomes clustered in various configurations on either side of an extended Montrose Avenue.
Montrose Avenue would run northwest from its current terminus, to connect with the northern extent of McCallum Road. A traffic signal would also be added at the intersection of Maclure and McCallum roads. A public path would be created next to the railway on the eastern side of the property.
Residents of the new development would have access to a fitness room, pool and spa, lounge and barbecue areas, and half-court basketball space.
The developer will have to undertake an array of infrastructure work, including upgrades to Montrose Avenue north of George Ferguson Way. That work is expected to start in the fall and will require the relocation of the Abbotsford Farm and Country Market. The city plans to move the market to Jubilee Park this summer, according to the staff report.
The staff report also revealed that 229 trees were axed in 2016 on the property “without the necessary tree cutting permits” and before the current owners purchased the site. The developers will be required to plant 583 new trees, or pay for trees to be planted elsewhere. The report says 153 new trees will be planted in the first two phases of the project.
The Abbotsford Downtown Business Association has sent the city a letter indicating its support for the project, declaring that it will “provide economic support to our businesses and services and positively impact the vitality of the downtown.”
Watch Wednesday’s paper for council’s reaction to the proposal