Sevenoaks Shopping Centre

Sevenoaks site key to Abbotsford’s Mill Lake link

Concept plans envision breaking up mall into blocks

The concept plan for the Abbotsford’s city centre is relatively quiet on the future it sees for Sevenoaks Shopping Centre, but it does lay out several possibilities for the area’s commercial hub – which was sold in February for $214 million.

The mall’s new owner has said he hopes to continue the mall’s operations, while potentially building mixed-use highrises behind or adjacent to the current building.

As part of workshops hosted by the city, groups that included developers, leaders of community organizations and city politicians and staff suggested changes to the 35-acre site could help address a chief challenge of any plan: connecting the commercial core and civic precinct to the community jewel that is Mill Lake park.

All four envisioned some major changes to the site, with three of four envisioning the property divvied up into six commercial blocks. The fourth envisions a “diagonal ‘green link’ ” that cuts straight through the shopping centre, connecting the Gladwin/South Fraser Way intersection with Mill Lake.

One group pitched a “seniors precinct” on the southwestern corner of the site.

Those are broad ideas, though. The actual land use policies envisioned in the concept would have the site designated as City Centre – Core, which would allow for dense, mixed-use developments on the site. Increased density would be possible if developers agree to provide public amenities.

The plan’s proposed street network would break the site into around four different blocks, with additional pedestrian connections within those blocks.

The mall’s owner did not return a request for comment.