Creating a vision for ‘university district’

Students from the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), local property owners, residents and businesses will be asked to contribute to a new conceptual vision of the area.

Students from the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), local property owners, residents and businesses will be asked to contribute to a new conceptual vision of the area.

Abbotsford wants to put together a 25-year plan to help create a university district, consisting of mixed-use and green development around UFV and the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

The U-district (the area within Kirklyn Street, Highway 1 and Riverside Road) could eventually become a community unto itself.

“We would like to see the university become one of the hubs of our city,” said Mayor George Peary.

He said there are opportunities to redevelop some of the older properties in the area to create a new atmosphere.

“I see it as a pedestrian-friendly area with coffee shops, some high-level retail and high-density housing … it would have a Kitsilano feel.”

While only in the planning stages, Peary said it’s clear the university would eventually like to have more students living on campus, and the creation of the U-district makes sense.

Students from UFV are hosting a drop-in meeting today (March 10) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a preliminary sharing of ideas. The meeting is at Casey’s on Campus.

The city is planning to host public meetings at the end of the month. A website will also be launched by the beginning of April.