753 Seymour Street

753-seymour-de-modelThree years ago we posted the initial scheme for 753 Seymour Street, a new office tower proposed to replace the Vancouver Centre parkade. It’s located next to the Scotia Tower and across from the Telus office complex. The last version is at the bottom of the post;  these images show the third iteration that represents the UDP supported Development Permit design. We think this means the developers are serious and the project may move ahead soon. The fussier and more complex lower part of the tower has now been replaced with a simpler idea of an angled ‘curtain’ wall being pulled sideways.

753-seymour-deIt’s hard to be certain, but the model makes it look as if the rezoning version (which had a flared ‘skirt’) has been altered so that the façade is angled sideways rather than outwards.

This is a pretty dead stretch of street right now, but with the Telus block being overclad, their new offices on Georgia as well as this project, it should be a whole lot better. It’s a design by experienced city office architects MCM.

There’s an unusual aspect to the proposal: floors 2 to 6 are proposed as above-grade parking, with 398,000 square feet of office above that. The total parking 753 Seymour 2016proposed just about meets the requirements here, with 7 underground floors of parking and 5 above grade. The developers appear to be anticipating those requirements coming down in future, as 65,000 of the above grade parking is designed to potentially convert to additional office space.

The rezoning report said “The exterior of the office building incorporates a complex curtain-wall glazing treatment that involves fritted glass, triple-glazed units and an extended capping system in order to maximize energy performance of the building.”

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The Smithe – 225 Smithe Street

the-smithe-v3-render-2Here’s a new tower to be developed on Smithe at Cambie, that will finally cover up the blank flank wall of the 1980s Law Society Building.

Designed by GBL for Boffo Developments, it will have 22 floors of condos over a 4 storey commercial podium (office and retail) required by the ‘CBD Shoulder’ zoning here.

Re-addressed as 885 Cambie, it’s being marketed as ‘The Smithe’.

225 smitheSales are supposedly starting early in 2017, and a number of design changes from the earlier version (on the right) can be seen.

There were two earlier versions of the tower that proposed 107 units; now there are fewer, only 94, and if sales are successful they’ll all be two or three bedroom units and according to the pre-sales material, at least 1,000 sq ft each.

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Pinnacle on the Park – East 1st Avenue

pinnacle-on-the-parkHere’s the sales render for a twice rezoned South East False Creek 18- storey tower.

Pinnacle and their architects, Bingham Hill, obtained an earlier rezoning several years ago for a slightly smaller building on the last site they own in the area. Now that their building on the adjacent site to the west, The One is completed they’re looking to develop their next project, and sales are already underway.

2-26 E 1stAssuming the Development Permit version of the tower is the same as earlier versions it will have 137 units in the same block that the Opsal tower has been built (although you wouldn’t know from the illustration that there were any other buildings nearby).

Initially it was shown with red details (seen on the model on the right) which would have been similar to a number of the other buildings around this location – the UDP comment that a change would be welcome appears to have been heeded. However, as with all these sales images, never forget the (very) small print: “rendering is artist concept only”.

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95 West Hastings Street


Here’s another long-anticipated Downtown Eastside project. Holborn have owned the site across Abbott Street from Woodwards for many years. Now they’ve submitted a rezoning application to build a 10-storey mixed-use building with 132 units of secured market rental housing over commercial space on the ground floor. The proposed building is shown on the left of the render.

The architect is Gair Williamson, who has designed a number of other projects in the area. The design respects the Victory Square design guidelines, and the east 7 storey segment of the Hastings Street elevation aligns with the Paris Block 2 lots over, while the west 8 storey segment aligns with the historic Woodward’s façade across Abbott Street. Levels 8-10 of the east segment are set back 8 feet from the street, while levels 9 and 10 of the west segment are recessed one foot from the lower façade.

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131 Water Street

131-water-blogWe’ve been anticipating this project for a while, as it has been discussed in various Heritage committees in the recent past. Now it’s a development application, although this version of the design was narrowly rejected by the Urban Design Panel. So far it hasn’t shown up on the City’s website, but it involves a new seven storey mixed-use commercial/residential building on this site replacing the Henriquez designed Gaslight Square and retaining three existing heritage buildings adjacent to it. The architects are Rositch Hemphill Architects. The Heritage Commission supported the project, while regretting the loss of Gaslight Square.

If approved, the new project will be just along the street from another recently proposed development, so Water Street could see quite a bit of development activity after a lull of several years. Our image is of the model viewed by the UDP.

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855 Granville Street


Here’s a development proposal that first appeared over three years ago in 2013, but hasn’t been successful in finding tenants for the proposed retail space. It’s a redevelopment of the Granville (formerly Odeon) cinema complex, which will potentially return to being three separate buildings. The revised version has nearly 30,000 sq ft of office space on the second and third floors, and around 27,000 of retail in the main and basement floors.

On the left (south) end of the site there’s a heritage facade for the Palms Hotel, dating back to 1893. It only got that name in 1913 – before that it was the home of the MacKay and Almond Creamery, an ice cream manufacturer. It was consolidated into the cinema in the mid 1980s. The most recent building, the contemporary cinema facade in the middle, will get a completely new glazed facade, and is now being offered as office space – initially it was suggested for retail use. The third building has a notable windowless art deco heritage facade from 1938, when it became the Paradise Theatre. It was built originally in 1912 as the Globe Theatre. After 1965 it became the Coronet, until it became part of the Odeon in 1986.

Studio One Architecture initially proposed to restore the plaster facade and reintroduce a vertical sign on the face of the building, with a slim vertical window to allow some light in, without significantly compromising the facade. Skylights introduced natural light into the upper floor. Although there are now new architects: Musson, Cattell Mackey, that part of the proposal seems unchanged, although there’s now an additional floor, set back from the façade, in the new development permit image.

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Roddan Lodge – 124 Dunlevy Avenue


In the recent announcement of new non-market housing to be funded by BC Housing, the largest project was Roddan Lodge. There’s an existing 156 unit building here, built 40 years ago and designed by Waisman Architectural Group. It is described as ‘nearing the end of its building life’, and is six storeys high. The replacement, designed by DYS Architecture would be 11 storeys, with 223 units including replacement welfare rate units and affordable studio, one, and two bedroom rental units.

The ground floor will provide a new space for the Evelyne Saller Centre to be relocated from its current space at 320 Alexander Street. The existing building will be deconstructed, and the new building will be much more energy efficient and built over one level of parking.

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