The Musqueam First Nation plans to include a small-scale Stanley Park as part of a massive residential and retail project on their land near the UBC Endowment Lands.

The band unveiled their plans and broke ground Thursday on the lands that will eventually be home to an estimated 2,500 people.

Twenty-one acres will be converted to 1,250 homes in 18-storey condo towers and a 12-storey rental apartment. There will also be a mix of four- to six-storey townhomes, including multi-family dwellings and some subsidized units.

The mixed-use development will also contain stores, 30,000-square-feet of commercial space, a fitness centre, and a daycare with capacity for 40 children.

It's being called the first project of its kind in Metro Vancouver because it's taking place on land that was returned to the band.

"This is the first year where it's multi-use and the vision from our community is always to hold these lands and create enough wealth and generation so we can be self-sufficient and pay for our programs and deliveries in our own community," said Chief Wayne Sparrow.

musqueam development

The project will generate 1,900 jobs, added Sparrow.

"The development will create career and business opportunities for our people and future generations," he said.

Included in the development will be a small-scale Stanley Park among the tall fir trees.

The project is predicted to take 12 years to complete, although the first condos will begin being marketed next summer.

It will be called Lelem, which means home in Musqueam.