Dignitaries shovel dirt for the ground breaking ceremony of Foster Martin. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Dignitaries shovel dirt for the ground breaking ceremony of Foster Martin. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Officials break ground for 3 towers in White Rock

Landmark Properties building trio of 24-storey towers

Landmark Properties broke ground for a trio of 24-storey condominium buildings at 1484 Martin St. Thursday afternoon.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin, who described the land as the last undeveloped lot in the city, joined representatives from Landmark at the private ceremony, attended by about 70 people including more than two dozen people who have already purchased units.

The mayor told the gathering that the lot has been vacant since 1983, and the Foster and Martin project was a long time coming.

“Finally, it’s about to take place,” he said.

Landmark vice-president Patrik Kutak called it a flagship project for the company, and said the structures will take one million staff hours to build, with approximately 200 people working on site any given day.

“It will be stressful for the locals,” Kutak said, noting Landmark is committed to being good citizens and good neighbours.

Before project officials, city councillors and business leaders broke ground at the event, several organizations placed an item in a time capsule – not to be opened until 2068.

The items placed in the capsule include Baldwin’s state-of-the-city address; a document from Peace Arch Hospital Foundation outlining the “case for support” for several of its fundraising projects; a 2019 Semiahmoo Arts Society calendar; a directory of businesses and history of the chamber by the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce; a White Rock Business Improvement Association poster for the Concerts at the Pier series; a recent edition of Peace Arch News; and a Landmark Properties booklet, explaining the project and a “limited edition” pin.

As dignitaries broke ground, three neighbours watched the event from outside of the property fence. They told PAN that the development of the vacant lot was “only a matter of time,” but raised concerns with building setbacks from the sidewalk.

The project is to include 334 apartments and have four levels of underground parking. There is to be 57,000-sq.-ft. of commercial space.

According to purchaser statistics, released by Landmark Properties, 99 per cent of purchases are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. More than 60 per cent are downsizing, and more than 90 per cent currently live in “Greater Vancouver.”

Nearly 80 per cent of purchasers consider Foster Martin as their principal home in the future, according to the statistics.

According to city documents, construction is expected to be complete by 2021.