Monday, October 22, 2012

Langley Mall Update

In September, I posted about a proposed update to the old Langley Mall in the City of Langley. The owner, First Capital, is looking to build a new commercial unit on the northwest corner of its property. Tonight, City of Langley Council will be holding a public hearing on the proposed redevelopment. The City’s Downtown plan envisions this site to see significant redevelop. While this proposed addition to the mall it not significant, it is a small step in the right direction.

Proposed new commercial unit at Langley Mall

Site plan for new commercial unit

First the good news. This new commercial unit will contain a coffee shop without a drive-thru, and the project will also include parking for cyclist. There are a few things that concern me from downtown public realm standpoint though. All primary pedestrian access to the commercial unit is not via the Douglas Crescent, but other sides of the building. Also, the unit is slightly set back from the street. The unit is also not designed for another building to abut it to the east in the future. This means that there will be a gap between it and future buildings. All these little things could reduce the potential to create a strong pedestrian retail wall along Douglas Crescent.

This building is certainly an improvement from just a parking lot, but I wonder if its design will create a pedestrian-friendly public realm along Douglas Crescent as envisioned in the Downtown Master Plan.

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