420 Hawks Avenue

420 HawksHere’s an interesting project that is in the very early days – the developer, the Atira Women’s Resource Society have developed a preliminary proposal to build a much more ambitious recycled shipping container housing scheme. It would be on Hawks Avenue behind the Rice Block, a heritage building currently getting a comprehensive restoration. Atira developed the recent Alexander Street container housing that was clearly considered successful enough to replicate. We can’t find any existing container-based housing seven storeys tall, so this could be a first.

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1601 Comox Street

1601 ComoxGrace Court is a 1912 7-storey 26 unit concrete apartment building designed by R MacKay Fripp for D D Hutchinson. When it was built it cost $40,000 and filled just over half the lot it sits on. Recent changes to the West End zoning from the West End Plan allow an infill building on the remainder of the site. (Generally the infill is allowed on the lane, although in this case it’s the end lot so it will be addressed as 1071 Cardero Street).

Designed by Ankenman Marchand it’s one of three projects now working their way through the permitting system. (These are not rezonings, so shouldn’t take as long). The four storey infill proposed has 11 units, with 5 2-bed family units, including those on the main floor, and the other six 1-bed. They can only be rental units, and the architects describe the project as “architecturally designed in a contemporary style”.


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1575 West Georgia Street

1575 W Georgia 1Some parts of the Downtown peninsula have very few development opportunities remaining. Here’s an example of a tight site on the north side of the street where West Pender meets West Georgia, close to Bayshore and Coal Harbour. It’s been a modest 3-storey office building for over 40 years, and the new tower proposes to retain commercial space on the lower floors (actually, at four floors there’s a slight increase in office as well as retail space).

The remaining 22 floors are condos, with 184 units and the project is designed by Henriquez Partners for Bosa Properties. The design shows a much more complicated façade than the simple boxes of a few years ago. The next step will be a review by the Urban Design Panel – it seems more likely that the rezoning hearing will be considered by a new Council, as the election is only a few months away.

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308 West Hastings Street

308 W Hastings

This ‘mystery’ application appeared on the Development Permit Board schedule a few weeks ago. 308 West Hastings today is a single storey former bank, alongside Victory Square. Here’s the render of the projects, intended to be “a new 6-storey mixed-use building containing commercial uses (ground floor), institutional uses (second floor), and residential rental units (third to sixth floors) under the Rental 100 Program”. The image shows it’s for Simon Fraser University, and there will be 52 rental units (aimed at post-graduate students) designed by Raymond Letkeman Architects.


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Red Truck Brewery – 295 East 1st Avenue

red truck

For well over a year the Red Truck Brewery Company have been building a new brewery building on the edge of the False Creek Flats, close to the future Emily Carr campus.  Since 2004, Red Truck has been a draught-only brewery, supplying beers from the Taylor’s Crossing brewpub in North Vancouver. The new production brewery will also package beer for sale in liquor stores.

Unlike many of the recent breweries that have opened up in the city in the past year or two, this is an entirely new building on an industrial scale, with a big steel-framed building designed by Ankenman Marchand Architects as well as an associated diner-styled bar and restaurant.

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41 East Hastings Street

41 e hastingsThis Downtown Eastside rezoning project on East Hastings was first mentioned here at the end of 2012. The original rezoning version was designed by Perkins + Will for the Atira Development Atira E HAstings render 1Society, with two floors of commercial space and twelve of residential above that. The housing mix was complex; there were 169 units with a mix of self-contained rental units; Housing Income Limits units and affordable home ownership units, some guaranteed as rental units for a minimum of 15 years. That’s the render of the first version below.

Now that the rezoning has been approved there’s a revised version submitted for a Development Permit with a new design by IBI Group. The deign has a more glazed appearance, and it now includes 198 units, still maintaining a mix of market and non-market housing over retail. It was given unanimous support by the Urban Design Panel.

It sits next door to the Lux, a BC Housing funded scheme completed in 2009 and designed by GBL. It will replace a modest 3 storey building, best known as the recent home of United We Can which has moved to the False Creek Flats.

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InGastown – 150 East Cordova


In Gastown 2014

Here’s another development proposal for a narrow site in the Downtown Eastside. Christopher Bozyk Architects has designed this 9-storey 60 unit project for a fifty feet wide lot next door to Stan Douglas’s artists studio (that was built about five years ago). We first featured it 18 months ago when details of the design were first released.

Our revised render shows the version now illustrated on the sales website, and there are signs on site that construction might commence soon. The project has two floors of commercial space and a shared landscaped rooftop garden, and the developer is Port Capital Group who are building the interestingly designed 2211 Cambie project now called South Creek Landing.

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