One of the most ambitious redevelopments in North America resulting from the most complex rezoning in the city’s history, is unfolding in Vancouver. As a leader and innovator in large-scale mixed-use projects across Canada and the United States, with Oakridge, Westbank aims to reinvent how people live and the places they live within, now and into the future.
Oakridge will transcend the typical mixed-use shopping centre redevelopment pattern, which so often consists merely of residential towers grafted on top of a mall. The project is designed to be one of the most sustainable projects of its kind in the world.
A neighbourhood energy system created and operated by Creative Energy, comprising a heat recovery system, a geoexchange field and low-carbon electric boilers will allow the project to produce up to 70 per cent less GHG emissions a year than a comparable development. An innovative water management strategy will source water from the city’s largest underground aquifer, located below the site.
By integrating this infrastructure and the architecture within a 10-acre city park, Oakridge will bring an urban forest into the heart of the city and infuse nature into the lives of residents and visitors.
“Oakridge has been designated as Vancouver’s new town centre, essentially its second downtown and Oakridge will be the anchor for this new downtown,” says Michael Braun, director of marketing and sales, Westbank.
Designed by award-winning Henriquez Partners Architects, a firm that has worked with Westbank on landmark projects such as Woodward’s and Telus Garden, Oakridge will blur the line between art and architecture, continuing the theme of the total work of art Westbank has been exploring since Vancouver House.
“What we were trying to accomplish is not an isolated, single-use building dropped into the neighbourhood, but a thing of beauty and high function, integrated organically for maximum combined benefit,” explains managing principal Gregory Henriquez. “The concept of total design is particularly apt at Oakridge, as it combines the best parts of nature and urban infrastructure.”
Oakridge will comprise of 13 unique towers with interiors designed by a different global artist or designer, rising from nine, up to 44 storeys, offering studios, to one, two, three and four-bedroom residences and penthouses, featuring private terraces and private lift entry.
Each tower will have its own character, reflecting the aesthetic of the interior designer, while taking full advantage of the panoramic views of the Vancouver skyline and park around it.
“Every tower will have distinctive style, whether that’s Italian, French or West coast,” says Braun. “We will also be offering fully furnished residences with furnishings curated by the designer.”
In addition, every resident will be welcomed with an Apple Smart Home package to run their home.
An extensive amenity offering, which includes access to hundreds of unique high-quality retailers; 20 new restaurants by local and international chefs in a 2-acre foodhall known as “The Kitchen”; Vancouver’s largest community centre; the city’s second largest library; a world- class public art program; and a 10-acre park inspired by the beautiful rice terraces of Southeast Asia and the topography of the Pacific Northwest. Designed to become the city’s cultural hub, Oakridge will host weekly live music performances at its numerous indoor and outdoors music venues.
“When you purchase a Westbank home, it is like buying a piece of art … you are investing in an extraordinary body of work,” says Braun, adding all homes include Valet Service Parking and a first of its kind car share program, offering a fleet of electric vehicles.
“We have sold more than $1 billion of presale product in the last two years, which is more than all other projects on the west side combined,” notes Braun.
Once complete Oakridge will be the home to over 6,000 residents and will become the workplace of 3,000 workers. On completion, the project is expected to draw upwards of 40 million visitors a year.
Oakridge’s first phase of the project, which includes seven towers, is anticipated to complete in 2024 and the second phase in 2027.