A proposed 879-unit development on South Fraser Way goes to council for its input Monday. A proposed 879-unit development on South Fraser Way goes to council for its input Monday.

Huge 879-unit central Abbotsford seniors development to go to public hearing

First stage would see building of 300 apartments for seniors, to be managed by Menno Place operators

A massive proposed development set for the city’s core will go to a public hearing after Abbotsford council signaled its enthusiasm for the project Monday.

Emco Developments hopes to build nearly 900 apartment units on three adjacent sites on the north side of South Fraser Way, just northeast of Sevenoaks Shopping Centre.

Staff say the development would be a key component to advance their vision for a denser, more-walkable city centre.

The first phase would see a pair of 18-storey towers built to house 300 seniors. Half of those units would be assisted living, the remainder would be classified as “independent” living. All would be managed by the Mennonite Benevolent Society – which operates Menno Place.

RELATED: Images reveal size of huge development proposed for central Abbotsford

RELATED: Taller buildings and more people: Abbotsford’s plan for a new city centre nears completion

The other two sites on the five-acre site would be developed in subsequent phases. The second site could see a buildings as high as 30 storeys, with a mix of commerical, office and residential space in it and two smaller buildings. The third site would see a pair of buildings, one up to 14 storeys tall.

Council got their first chance for input Monday and voted to send the project to a public hearing.

Mayor Henry Braun and several councillors suggested the development would be a catalyst for future growth in the area.

Staff has recommended council give the plans first reading. If they do so, the proposal will go to a public hearing at another date.

“The proposed development is of significant scale and is anticipated to help anchor and support the creation of an energetic City Centre with the highest concentration of residents, employees, and visitors in the only neighborhood where high rise development is permitted,” staff write in a report to council. “The proposal, if approved, will act as the eastern gateway along the South Fraser Way Signature Corridor and is anticipated to offer a variety of public spaces, vibrant public life and animation.”

To get the city’s sign-off on the construction of such a dense development, the apartments on two of the three sites will be limited to rental-only. That would boost Abbotsford’s meagre supply of rental housing by about 519 units, and bar them from becoming strata units.

The developer will have also have to build two new plazas accessible to the general public. One would connect South Fraser Way to Yukon Crescent, the other would be located at the intersection of South Fraser Way and Fairlane Street. A full traffic signal would also be installed at that junction. The city also expects to collect around $640,000 in developer contributions to go toward transit and bicycle infrastructure, along with park enhancements.

The development is slated for a chunk of land currently divided into 16 single-family lots and two commercial properties. The site will be restructured, and roads in the area will be shifted, with Yukon Crescent moved 14 metres to the east. The developer owns all the land in the area.

Fourteen homes currently sit on the site, many of which are still occupied by residents. The developer must give four months notice to residents of their pending eviction. Under provincial rules, residents must also be given the equivalent of at least one months free rent. The developer says they’ll also provide money twice the amount of tenants’ rent to help with relocation costs. Re/Max, which has been contracted by the developer to handle the eviction process, says the owner knows that relocating may be difficult for some tenants. The letter says many tenatns are paying below-market rates and may have trouble finding a new home.

Eleven of the homes will be demolished, while three will be moved off-site. Re/Max also said it would help tenants to relocate to other homes in its “portfolio.”

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


The first stage of development would see the construction of a pair of 14-storey towers.

Nearly 900 units of housing are proposed to be built in three phases on the north side of South Fraser Way.

Just Posted

A pair of crashes on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack have snarled traffic in both directions.
Pair of crashes snarl traffic between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Traffic delays eastbound, large westbound backup

Final numbers won't be known for weeks, but turnout was down across the board in the Fraser Valley and B.C.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
Election turnout down across Fraser Valley and B.C.

Even after thousands of mail-in ballots counted, turnout is likely to fall below 50% in many ridings

Voters in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission and Langley may head back to polls in 2021

Election of local politicians in BC vote would trigger by-elections in several Fraser Valley cities

Youth Unlimited in Abbotsford recently celebrated the grand opening of their renovated office space on Emerson Street. (Submitted photo)
Youth Unlimited in Abbotsford among 4 charities supported by fundraiser

Joseph Richard Group holds month-long One Month In campaign

BC Liberal candidates Michael de Jong (left) and Bruce Banman are projected to win in Abbotsford West and Abbotsford South, respectively. Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News
Abbotsford BC Liberals de Jong and Banman heading to Victoria, say Highway 1 widening will be focus

In Abbotsford-Mission, BC Liberal Simon Gibson in close race against NDP’s Pam Alexis

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil forfeiture office alleges $2M Surrey home was used to launder cannabis money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

Most Read