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Business Park, Hotel Planned For Sea Island

The Vancouver Airport Authority plans to start construction next year on a $250-million business park and hotel on Sea Island next to the Canada Line's Templeton station.

The six-building business park will be constructed on a 13-hectare site adjacent to a new 2,500space park-and-ride facility for YVR employees and a Canada Post mail-processing plant that's slated to open in 2014.

"We see this as drawing the airport closer to the downtown business community," Raymond Segat, YVR's director, cargo and business development, said Tuesday about the project, called the Sea Island Business Park. "Our planning shows for 800,000 square feet of office space and a hotel of 250 rooms."

The airport authority is looking for expressions of interest from an architect to design the project, which would consist of buildings four to eight storeys in height and be built by about 2020.

At least 2,000 people are expected to work in the business park upon completion, Segat added.

"We plan on building it and managing it," he said of the project's business park component. "The hotel would likely have a third-party operator."

Segat said all revenues from the business park would be returned to the airport to help lower fees for air carriers, although he couldn't be more precise on how much revenue it would make for YVR.

"It's not unlike developing retail in the terminal to offset aeronautical revenues," he added.

Asked why a hotel is part of the package, Segat said that as a mixed-use development, the project is more attractive.

"It would complement the office space. And we've planned some square footage [in the hotel] for conference space to add to the amenities of the park. We expect business would be interested because of the proximity to the airport, good access to all forms of transportation, [and] they could fly in for conferences and meetings.

"[Templeton] station to the central city is 20 minutes. It's an attractive alternative to driving, especially in that corridor. It's an economic generator and fits in well with plans for development around the Canada Line."

Segat said that while the project is planned for 800,000 square feet of office space, densities could be higher.

He also noted that under YVR's land use plan with the federal government, the land is already zoned commercial.

white The City of Richmond is supportive, he added, because the project will provide jobs and an added tax base.

Noise from aircraft will not be an issue, he said, because the buildings will be constructed to a minimum gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard, including triple-glazed windows, that help dampen the noise.

"Aircraft landings will be an amenity, because they can see it. And the views are incredible. You can see the ocean and the river system. It's quite unique.

Segat said he doesn't know specifically what type of businesses will locate in the new park, only that it's generated interest from firms interested in being close to the airport.