After enduring years of stagnant growth, the future is looking significantly rosier for North Delta - and the Corporation of Delta is preparing for it.
Delta's population is predicted to grow by more than 20,000 in the next 30 years, and most of that will be focused in North Delta, according to Metro Vancouver's Regional Growth Strategy (RGS).
A new draft area plan for North Delta, which went to two public open houses for feedback last month, imagines development around key nodes along Scott Road that would transform what is currently mostly small businesses into higher density residential and commercial spaces - including high-rises - in the future.
Delta council began moving in that direction last year by approving a 37-storey high-rise at 80th Avenue and Scott Road - called Delta Rise - which will be the tallest building in North Delta. The current tallest structure is 14 storeys.
Satish Sharma, president of the developer Blexo Developments, said Delta Rise, rather than being out of place, is part of Delta's strategic planning for growth.
"Delta is getting smarter where they see where the main nodes are, and developing where the nodes are. They're seeing 80th Avenue as one of the best among the other nodes...to offer housing to the community," Sharma said.
A 7,000 sq. ft. presentation centre at the Delta Rise site will open before Labour Day, and over 350 units will begin selling after that. The building will begin construction in early 2014 and is expected to be ready for occupancy in June 2016.
"It's safe to say 600 to 1,000 people (will be) living at that address," said Scott Brown of Colliers International who is working with Blexo. He added bigger businesses are also beginning to watch North Delta.
"Because of the South Fraser Perimeter Road, Delta is becoming a better place to do business," he said. "A lot of people in the commercial real estate industry are watching."
"There are smart retailers coming in and putting in significant premises. That tells you how they're reading the area. Cactus Club Cafe and Target are good examples - what do those businesses know that others don't know about North Delta? They eyeballed that area," Brown said.
"I think Delta is positioning itself (to grow)."
On July 5, council gave preliminary approval to a new regional context statement for Delta's Official Community Plan in order for it to meet Metro Vancouver's RGS, which was adopted in 2011 and projects to 2040. Delta's regional context statement will go to a public hearing before going back to council for final approval.
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