Year in Review: Aldergrove preps for building boom downtown

Big changes are on the drawing board for the near future

Some Aldergrove residents have complained of being one of the community’s forgotten neighbourhoods – but in 2019, development, change, and fire have transformed the neighbourhood’s future.

In March, the Janda Group, owner of the Aldergrove Mall, announced long-expected redevelopment plans.

The new Aldergrove Town Centre, expected to take the place of the mostly-empty mall, would involve multiple, including three six-storey buildings with condos and commercial space on the bottom floor, a 10-storey building including parking and residential, and a 28-storey rental high rise.

The project would take years to build, with four to five years between the construction of each phase, according to Sonny Janda of the Janda Group.

An update in September saw the Janda Group show off revisions that included scaling back the proposed 28-storey tower

“Maybe Aldergrove isn’t quite ready for that tower,” said Colin Hogan of Focus Architecture, one of the groups working on plans for the site.

But the site as envisioned would still be a big change for Aldergrove, with rooftop amenities, bike lanes, and a enhancements to nearby Bertrand Creek including an adjacent pocket park.

While the project was one of the biggest and most centrally located projects proposed for Aldergrove, other significant changes were also in the works for the area.

In May, a car wash property in the town’s center wold for more than $1.5 million for redevelopment.

Later that spring, a 7.4 acre property west of 267th Street and south of the Aldergrove Athletic Park, was sold to a new builder, and could have about 70 townhouses built after it.

“Now is the time to buy real estate in Aldergrove,” said Jodi Steeves, president of the Aldergrove Business Association, and a local realtor.

One of those buyers was Langley Township, which picked up the Alder Inn property in June, a $5.4 million purchase. The Township shortly after closed down the Alder Inn Show Lounge, the last exotic dance club in the Langleys. The closure of the venue sparked mixed reaction on social media.

Then the aging building was struck with a fire in September.

The electrical fire in an upstairs hotel room caused a significant amount of smoke and water damage, and forced out long-term tenants, including the schnitzel restaurant.

Even as many things in Aldergrove changed, a movement to preserve some buildings gained steam, with the Alder Grove Heritage Society campaigning to save the former fire hall building at 29th Avenue and 272nd Street.

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