Demolition crews started to tear down White Rock’s ‘Deals World’ building Thursday, in order to make way for a new 12-storey residential structure on Johnston Road.
The site, located at 1350 Johnston Rd., is to be home of the Solterra development. The 12-storey structure is to feature space for six commercial shops and 92 apartments.
Council approved the contentious mixed-use highrise development in 2017, after an adjustment to the final plan that reduced the height to bring it in line with guidelines for the Lower Johnston area in the Official Community Plan.
The project, now approved for 12 storeys instead of the initial 14 storeys, received a mixed reaction from the community at a public hearing leading to its approval.
While some said it will revitalize Johnston Road, Kelly Breaks, owner of the Blue Frog Studios recording and concert venue – located immediately to the south of the site – said at that time that his business would be sandwiched between Solterra and the Lady Alexandra building, proposed for 1310 Johnston Rd.
At the time of Breaks’ comments, Lady Alexandra was proposed with a height of 12-storeys. However, the Lady Alexandra project – put forward by Calgary-based developer G.S.R. Capital – did not receive a building permit for 12 storeys, which allowed council’s re-examination of the project.
Last March, the newly elected White Rock Council approved a bylaw that downsized the allowable height of the Lady Alexandra building from 12 storeys to six.
Following the decision, G.S.R. Capital filed a petition to the court against the City of White Rock, alleging the city breached an obligation of procedural fairness.
The city filed a response to the petition, saying “that is clearly not the case.”
The petition to the court hearing was scheduled to take place Thursday morning in BC Supreme Court in Vancouver, Peace Arch News was not able to attend.