Developer proclaims ‘relaunch’ of We Town proposal in Abbotsford

Council had voted to leave futuristic proposal out of Sumas Mountain planning project

The developer behind the rejected We Town concept says they intend to “reposition and reboot” the proposal to create a high-tech centre near Auguston.

But it’s unclear how the company intends to make the project happen. Last month, council declined to include its ambitious ideas as part of planning for the McKee Peak neighbourhood, and the developers declined a request to speak about their new ambitions.

The original We Town idea had been declared to be in the “wrong place,” by Mayor Henry Braun, and a slim majority of council eventually decided to leave the proposal out of the city’s long-term planning for the area. Staff had warned that the project might not be economically feasible, and the scale of a project that would have housed 30,000 people in futuristic highrises on Sumas Mountain would have required a substantial revision to the city’s plans.

RELATED: We Town concept shelved by Abbotsford council

RELATED: Planning price tag revealed for futuristic ‘We Town’ concept in Abbotsford

RELATED: Concerns over long-term risks, planning delays and downtown impact doomed We Town

In an emailed press release sent to The News last week, Ian Renton, the general manager of Auguston Town Developments, is quoted as saying: “We respect the challenging balance that council and staff have to strike in coming to a decision … As we relaunch our efforts, we will continue to work to support Abbotsford’s future, with a focus on the needs of the community.”

The email says the developers are calling their new vision the “Abbotsford Tech District.”

No proposal has been submitted yet to city hall.

“Building on community feedback, the project team is committed to listening, learning, and sharing an optimistic, exciting and comprehensive vision that aligns with future growth plans for the region.”

The email cites the province’s throne speech, and says the project could help address housing and transportation challenges across British Columbia.

“We think the Abbotsford Tech District can contribute significantly to the emerging government, business, and academic discussions about the Fraser Valley innovation corridor,” said Gavin Dew, the new project’s chief strategic advisor. “From Vancouver to Chilliwack, the need for good transportation, accessible housing and family-supporting jobs is adding fuel to that conversation. While our core focus on agritech and aerospace is geared toward Abbotsford’s natural strengths, the Abbotsford Tech District can be a catalyst for economic development for the Fraser Valley and BC as a whole.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Abbotsford Agrifair’s 2020 event still in the works

Fair will respect COVID-19 health directives, but continuing plans in hope ban will be lifted

Learning after spring break: more details from Abbotsford School District’s superintendent

Parents to receive call from teachers next week, asked to conduct survey to tailor learning needs

Abbotsford’s Mandarin Garden Buffet offering free food to those in need

Chinese food restaurant providing free fried rice or chow mein to those struggling during pandemic

Man sentenced for setting apartment barbecue on fire in Abbotsford

Michael Rodden climbed to second-storey balcony in March 2019

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read