A concept of the retail village core on the Green Thumb property in north Nanaimo. (Barefoot Planning and Design image)

A concept of the retail village core on the Green Thumb property in north Nanaimo. (Barefoot Planning and Design image)

Green Thumb developer asking to extend north Nanaimo’s ‘urban node’

Proposal asks to extend existing retail with a focus on boutiques rather than large-format retail

The City of Nanaimo is being asked to make the Green Thumb property part of the urban node in the north end to allow for shops, services and high-density residential development.

An official community plan amendment application has been submitted to the city, asking for the 17.8-hectare property at 6261 Hammond Bay Rd. to be reclassified from ‘corridor’ to an ‘urban node.’

The application was submitted by Barefoot Planning and Design on behalf of Wilhelmina Group Limited Partnership and includes concepts that include “a medium-density residential neighbourhood with a boutique retail village core” in the south portion of the property and higher-density mixed use in the north portion.

Evan Peterson, principal at Barefoot, said planning at that kind of property presents an exciting opportunity that doesn’t come along every day.

“Probably the best part about it is the fact that you have clients that want to do something different and progressive and I would say appropriate for the site and the times,” Peterson said.

The application report says the plan for the neighbourhood would focus on “high-quality urban design, a comprehensive and connected green open space network, and rich landscaping throughout public and private spaces.”

Conceptual phasing shows development would happen starting with residential builds in the south portion of the site, followed by the retail village core portion. The concepts envision townhomes and three-to-six-storey multi-family residential development in the south portion of the property, with eight or more storeys along the old Island Highway. The vision for the north portion of the property is “mid- to high-rise residential with potential for mixed use and commercial (office) buildings, adaptable to the future needs and conditions of the area.”

The retail village core is envisioned for the middle of the property, with primary access from Uplands Drive. The application report notes that the Green Thumb village core concept within the Woodgrove urban node “extends the existing retail uses without directly competing,” with a focus on boutiques rather than large-format retail.

The property’s current corridor classification supports density of 50-150 units per hectare and two-to-six-storey buildings. Urban node designation would support density of 50-150-plus units with potential for high-rise development. Peterson said the plan is for 2,500 units with an upper range of 3,000.

story continues below

The concepts show three public parks on the property including a “large central park and trails.” The concepts also show Calinda Drive extending south and connecting with Enterprise Way and the old Island Highway. Peterson said a transportation assessment is being updated, as city staff asked that the developer alter the scope of that study.

The Dover Community Association isn’t active, but the city’s contact for the neighbourhood group, Bill Manners, said the Green Thumb concepts show a “concrete sea” that he thinks might be more appropriate for a larger metropolis.

“It’s not the type of plan that we want to see in Nanaimo, in my opinion…” he said. “I believe there will be some opposition.”

Peterson said the owners have had informal discussion with neighbours. He said concepts have been “workshopped” with city staff and there have been conversations about adjusting road plans, but “from a land-use perspective, so far we’ve had strong support at the staff level.”

He said the owners want the development to be a legacy of Green Thumb’s history as a “green jewel” in north Nanaimo.

“What they’re hoping to do is build and/or have a hand in the vast majority of what happens on that site…” he said. “The owners are fully invested in the site, both literally and figuratively and really want to make this about a high-quality, comprehensive development … [a] contemporary, modern, walkable village neighbourhood.”

A public information meeting will be held sometime in the fall. Peterson said he has been in communication with city staff to discuss a concurrent rezoning application, but no decision has been made.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo nursery property sells in historic deal

READ ALSO: Recently sold Nanaimo nursery isn’t going anywhere



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

development

 

A concept for development of the Green Thumb property in north Nanaimo. (Barefoot Planning and Design image)

A concept for development of the Green Thumb property in north Nanaimo. (Barefoot Planning and Design image)

Just Posted

'I swear that dog is being good,' says photo submitter Karen Jackson.
Vancouver Island looking for a few good caring canine companions

ElderDog’s goal to expand program of assisting older adults in the care and well-being of their dogs

Paige Karczynski is the new executive director of Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. (Photo submitted)
Providing hospice in a time of pandemic

Vancouver Island hospices forced to adapt during a time when grief counselling greatly needed

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Bill Reekie and his then-four-year-old granddaughter Lily. Photo contributed
Alzheimer’s: beginning the Unplanned Journey

Watch for the signs and reach out for the help that is available

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

A new well in Youbou is expected to meet the community’s drinking water needs for years, announced Klaus Kuhn, director for Youbou/Meade Creek. (File photo)
New well provides fresh water in Youbou

Well expected to meet community’s needs for years

Action at the Nanaimo Curling Centre. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo sports organizations qualify for COVID-19 relief funding

Province announces support for curling, rowing, gymastics, softball, rugby, squash, football clubs

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria says sale of the planned subdivision will increase the club’s ability to provide services and support. (Courtesy of Association for the Protection of Rural Metchosin)
Victoria Boys and Girls Club says youth would benefit from Metchosin land sale

Club says sale will guarantee supports and programs at time when demand high

Most Read