The long-empty lot at 120 Esplanade Ave could finally be seeing some development, after council approved another development permit for the location. (Google Maps)

Development on horizon for long-empty lot in Harrison

A seven-storey building has been approved for the site of the former Springs Cafe on Esplanade Ave

The site of the former Springs Cafe on Harrison’s Esplanade Avenue could finally be seeing some development, after Harrison council voted to approve a new development permit.

The permit allows for the construction of a seven-storey mixed-used building at 120 Esplanade Avenue. The building will feature seven commercial units on the ground floor, along with 56 residential units on the remaining six floors.

The residential units will be largely one- and two-bedroom units, with a few two-bedroom units with a den. The building plans also include an underground parking lot, as well as 45 bike stalls.

The development would be one of the tallest in Harrison Hot Springs — the same height as the Harrison Hot Springs Resort next door. The updated zoning bylaw now prohibits buildings taller than 15 metres (the Esplanade development would be 10 metres taller than that), but as the development permit application was submitted in April of last year, the building height is grandfathered in.

“The two tallest will be congregated at the end,” Ken Cossey, director of planning and development for the village, said during council on Monday, Jan. 21. “So there won’t be a disruption when you look at it from a visual perspective.”

Goldwell Developments Incorporated, the company taking on the mixed-use building on Esplanade, has two years to begin construction on the building. Of course, that doesn’t mean it will necessarily happen.

The company was issued a previous development permit in 2016, but the building hadn’t been started within the two-year time frame and the permit expired.

“When it expired, we basically gave everything back and said ‘When you’re interested we’ll start again,’” Cossey explained. The company applied for a new permit shortly after the old permit expired.

The lot had been vacant for a long time before Goldwell’s 2016 permit application as well.

RELATED: Prime lot in downtown Harrison planned for development

The site had once been the location of the Springs Cafe, but the building was claimed by fire back in 2005 and never rebuilt. Two years later, in 2007, a proposal came forward for a 10-storey mixed-use building.

That proposal saw criticism from locals, and didn’t get far past the public consultation stage before it stalled and was eventually sold to new investors.

During council on Jan. 21, one resident asked if the new development permit meant something would finally be built on the empty lot. Cossey said he couldn’t guarantee it.

“After this, it becomes a business decision,” he said about the permit. “If they decide they don’t want to go for it, there’s nothing we can do to force them.

“But we are obligated, because there was an application in front of us, to issue the permit in good faith.”

-with files from Erin Knutson



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

International film series returns to Chilliwack this fall

The Chilliwack International Fall Film Series at Cottonwood 4 Cinemas runs Oct. 2 to Nov. 6

Grand opening of Molson Coors Fraser Valley Brewery at Chilliwack cause for celebration

Ribbon-cutting with dignitaries, Molson brass and family marked the official grand opening

Two more on witness stand accuse former Chilliwack youth leader of sexual touching

BC Supreme Court justice rules similar fact evidence allowed in trial of Codie Anderson

East Coast comedian Ron James bringing ‘Full Throttle Tour’ to Chilliwack Cultural Centre

James is at work on the first draft of his first book, ‘All Over the Map’

Multiple accidents on Highway 1 slowing morning commutes

One accident just past 232 Street in Langley, second is just East of Bradner Street in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

B.C. cabinet minister denies that Surrey mayor’s friend attended government meeting

Surrey councillor questions Vancouver businessman Bob Cheema’s involvement in official meeting

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Most Read