The Budzey Building – 220 Princess Avenue


Another of the City and Province non-market housing projects is just completing construction two years after it started. It’s one of the biggest – 147 units of housing – and it will be managed by the Raincity Housing and Support Society. It’s named after Lorna Budzey who died in 2000, a resident of Raincity’s first shelter. The building is designed by Neale Staniszkis Doll Adams Architects and is 10 storeys. The photo shows that the few mature street trees seem to have been successfully protected, so the building already looks a little different from the render.

Budzey render 2The site was once the home of the Drake Hotel, a small (24 room) hotel dating back to 1912, and bought by the City of Vancouver in 2007 at the same time the Province started buying SRO Hotels. The City carried out a basic renovation of the property to allow it to be used as temporary rooms for tenants whose building was being given a more significant upgrade that meant they had to move out for a while. The hotel’s neon sign, dating back to 1950, is in the Museum of Vancouver’s neon collection.

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Sota – Birch Street

sotaHere’s a project that illustrates why City Council will soon consider whether to extend the ‘rate of change’ to further limit the loss of rental property. Since 1995 the City Council have required retention or replacement of most rental housing in the West End, and this was extended to the rest of the city in 2007 including ‘RM’ zones – those that have the most higher density purpose-built rental buildings.

birch manorThere’s currently an exception that says if you’re building less than six new units, you don’t have to replace the previous rental units. Here’s a small project in an RM zone on Birch, at West 14th Avenue, that will see a 1912 8-unit rental building (sold in 2012 with an asking price of around $2 million) replaced with a 4-unit strata. The new building, designed by Walter Francl, was approved last year and will have 2-bed 1,600 sq ft units, one per floor on four floors (with a wine store for each unit in the garage floor) offered for sale at – or above – $2.5 million each.

The original house was a speculative design-and-build project by Shaw Brothers, who added a stable a year later for the new owner, H J Hatch. It was modified in 1944 with a design by W F Gardiner.


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1177 Jervis Street

1177 JervisThis tower can now be developed on the corner of Davie and Jervis, and is the first (but by no means likely to be the last) project that has emerged from the recent West End Plan. Limited parts of the West End allow greater density where the project adds non-market housing.

This NSDA Architects designed 19-storey tower for Intracorp has 63 condo units (almost all 2-bedroom) and there will be 28 non-market units. There’s a small retail unit on the corner of Davie and Jervis – seen here in the model reviewed by the Urban Design Panel only a month after the application was available on the city website. Davie will also see some townhouse units in the scheme that has already been given a Development Permit, just about three months since we first featured it here.

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95 East 1st Avenue

95 W1stHere’s the second building proposed as part of the Concert Properties development in south East False Creek known as The Creek.

It will be on the corner of Quebec and 1st Avenue, and this is the 15-storey non-market building that will be owned by the City of Vancouver, once Concert have built it.

The project includes not one, but two childcare centres at grade, and it’s designed by DYS Architecture; (Rafii Architects designed the first building in the new complex, and the masterplan for the site). It has black brick detailing, rather than painted concrete. Here’s a picture of the model already reviewed by the Urban Design Panel.

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1335 Howe Street


1335 HoweToday the Quality Inn Downtown, on Howe Street, is a 7-storey mid block building. It started life as the somewhat smaller Villa Hotel, and is currently temporary non-market housing, but it’ll be replaced with something altogether larger.

In 2013 Ramsay Worden Architects had a render on their website for a 39-storey tower on a 7-storey podium. There was an open house but then no rezoning application appeared.

Now there’s a different scheme, designed by IBI with another developer (Townline); for 40 storeys on a 7-storey podium (so the same as the hotel that’s there today) with 389 market residential units, and a 37 space childcare facility (with the open space on top of the podium).

The same architects are designing the nearby (and taller) Burrard Place tower that has a similarly neutral colour pallet.

This is the Howe Street face of the model that the Urban Design Panel reviewed, and supported, so the project can now move on to a public hearing.



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2-26 East 1st Avenue

2-26 E 1stHere’s a rezoning of a rezoning. Pinnacle and their architects, Bingham Hill, already obtained an earlier rezoning several years ago for a slightly smaller building on the last site they own in South East False Creek. Now that their building on the adjacent site to the west, The One is nearing completion they’re looking to redesign their next project.

This would be an 18 storey tower with 137 units in the same block that the Opsal tower has been built, so the red detail would have an existing reference.

The Urban Design Panel  reviewed it, and supported its design, so now it will presumably head to a Public Hearing.

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Main Street & 2nd Avenue

Main & 2nd model

Here’s a new rezoning proposed under the Mount Pleasant Plan, across the street from South East False Creek. Designed by Francl Architecture it would replace the building Maynards moved into a few years ago with 253 units, 30 of them non-market rental to be owned by the city. Here’s the view of the model along Main Street, (with 3rd Avenue on the left) and below is the render.

Main & 2nd render 2The building is designed as 6 storeys at 3rd avenue rising to 12 storeys, and has 13,000 sq ft of retail on the main floor. In addition there are artist production spaces (studios – but not residential space). In the centre of the project there’s a plaza that would be public space – possibly an opportunity for a restaurant to have outdoor seating.

The Urban Design Panel have reviewed it and given it a thumb’s up – so it will probably next head to a Public Hearing.

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