Approximately 250 Langley residents attended the Janda Group’s second community gathering, which sought input on its plans for the old mall site. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Janda Group revises old Aldergrove mall redevelopment plans

Aldergrove Town Centre is long overdue, residents say

Five months after the Janda Group first unveiled its “Aldergrove Town Centre” for the old mall site downtown, the developers announced some major revisions to their plans last Thursday.

At a public meeting inside Aldergrove Community Secondary School’s gymnasium architects, consultants, project managers and others affiliated with the project took questions from 250 community members that showed up.

A number of Aldergrove residents expressed their concern about traffic in the already-swamped thoroughfare of Fraser Highway, adjacent to the 272 Street property.

Darryl Macdonald, a homeowner in the area since 1994, feels the new town centre will be a “trade-off,” something that will overwhelm the town’s streets but ultimately revitalize its downtown core.

“[Aldergrove] is way behind,” Macdonald said, noting its numerous vacant businesses.

“We needed this 25 years ago.”

The Township of Langley provided comment cards for residents to fill out and share their input, which a third-party, the Abbotsford-based Focus Architecture, will codify and bring to the developers to address.

The redevelopment plans were envisioned on large poster boards on either side of the gym, in three phases that move westward through the property.

Lead consultant on the project, architect Colin Hogan of Focus Architecture, said the most notable change to the proposal came to the scaling down of the controversial 28-storey tower (building E) the group had planned for phase 2.

“Maybe Aldergrove isn’t quite ready for that tower,” Hogan theorized, noting that updated plans see the same building scaled down to a maximum of 12 storeys.

Phase 1, which in spring included three buildings with commercial bottom floors, storefronts, and five levels of residential apartments above, now includes Janda’s plans to preserve and enhance the Bertrand Creek riparian area, to the north of the buildings.

“We’ve really enhanced the trail network and we’ve added more green roof components on four of the buildings,” explained Hogan.

The changes includes a pocket park to the east “which wasn’t going to happen with the [original] tower,” he said.

The project’s landscape architect Rebecca Krebs hopes the park will be available for the public to use as well.

“It would be a nice, green, open breath of fresh air in a lot of hardscape,” she said.

Krebs mentioned that the majority of the town centre’s amenities are inside the buildings or on its residential roof decks. This includes playgrounds, fire pits, and lounging areas.

A commercial space (Building C) was exchanged for a two-storey daycare building.

“We already have a tenant interested in the daycare,” Hogan said, noting the Janda Group planned the change with the proprietors in mind.

Dedicated bike lanes will also be implemented “all the way from Fraser Highway” and throughout the internal roadways of the centre, Hogan said.

Aldergrove resident Greg Koller was pleased to see the plans, but is concerned about a possible recession that might impact the centre’s ability to stay afloat.

“Though I’m glad to see the developer take the chance,” Koller emphasized.

The property at 3100 272 St. has been more of a sore spot for Aldergrove residents, the longer it remained boarded up and decrepit.

Two long-time residents and friends, both nearing 86 years of age, expressed their desire to see the project “with a shovel in the ground,” during their lifetimes.

“It’s felt like forever,” said one of the women, that the mall has sat there, “collecting dust” in the center of Aldergrove.

“I just hope I’m alive to see it,” she said of the transformation of the site into the Aldergrove Town Centre.

“They should hurry up,” corroborated resident John Roujema, to the Aldergrove Star.

Development plans were initially submitted to the Township on March 13, and fast-tracked after an approved motion filed by Couns. Eric Woodward and Bob Long was submitted the next day.

Though the Janda Group listed its target start date for construction as fall 2020, the plans still have to be considered for approval by the Township, which is tentatively scheduled to happen this winter.

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

 

The project’s landscape architect Rebecca Krebs said the majority of the town centre’s amenities are inside buildings or on residential roof decks. This includes playgrounds, fire pits, and lounging areas. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Two renderings, shown side-by-side illustrate revisions to the updated redevelopment proposal for the old mall property, from the one submitted in March (left) to the one the developers made public last Thursday. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Sonny Janda welcomed questions and comments from local residents regarding changes made to the Aldergrove Town Centre development proposal – including the removal of 16 storeys from building F. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Just Posted

VIDEO: Body found after ‘suspicious’ fire near Langley/Surrey border

No cause of death announced; investigation continues, say RCMP

‘The public has spoken’: Alder Inn to be demolished at $250,000 cost

Township council votes to use $250,000 to demolish the 71-year-old building in downtown Aldergrove

VIDEO: Workout Wednesday focuses on compound exercises

Each week fitness instructor Marion Brand shares at-home workouts

New community market debuts in Langley

Marketplace aims to support local crafters and farmers

Fort Gallery showcases isolation with new exhibition of works created during COVID

Together Alone runs from Friday, July 17, until August 16

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Abbotsford woman starts petition to have B.C. government help with IVF costs

Jennifer Kuiken says cost of in vitro fertilization is too high for most people

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

RCMP searching for culprit behind needle-filled lemons left on Coquitlam-area trails

The two lemons found were thrown away leaving police with little evidence

Most Read