Chinese developer gains foothold for delayed Squamish project

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Taicheng Development Corp. has plans for about 1,000 homes on 178-acre Sea-to-Sky Highway site just north of Vancouver

Western Investor

A Chinese development company that paid $30.5 million for 480 acres near Squamish, B.C., five years ago is now proceeding with its first development on part of the site. 

Taicheng Development Corp. bought the land through a court-ordered, cash sale in 2012.

Last month, Taicheng was given a permit to set up an office in the Britannia Beach area, following approval from the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.

“They’re setting up their offices so they can do their planning on site,” said Tony Rainbow, vice-chair of the district board. “They’ll be working on site.”

The permit would allow the company to set up an office trailer on the site of the future development for a three-year term.

It’s expected to be about the size of one or two portables, and would house about seven employees.

The setup of the office marks another step in a very lengthy process.

Land for the project had been purchased in 2012 and development applications have been submitted.

However, it will still be some time before shovels hit the ground, as the district has not yet approved the plans.

“They have a long, long way to go,” Rainbow said.

The latest proposal for the project would have about 1,000 homes constructed on 178 acres of land.

It’s expected to include a mix of houses, townhouses, row houses and apartments. Options to include laneway housing are expected to be available for houses on single-family lots.

Developers are hoping to have a central park and commercial space that could accommodate a coffee shop, pub and restaurant, among other things.

Included in the property is the gravel pit south of the mining museum, the former Makin lands and some of the land leading to the top of Furry Creek.

While proponents think its proximity to Vancouver would make it ideal for young commuting families – and recreational users – local  critics have voiced concerns about the traffic that it might cause.

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