401 West Georgia Street

The address of this office project is a bit misleading – it actually faces onto Dunsmuir Street. There’s an existing office building that stretches the entire length of a block of Homer Street, with an early 1980s office tower designed by Aitken Smith Carter. That was set in the middle of the block to avoid blocking views of the adjacent Holy Rosary cathedral and to create a plaza on Georgia Street. Now B+H Architects have designed a nine storey office and retail building (with a tenth rooftop service floor) for the Dunsmuir end of the block.

Although views of the cathedral will be lost, the building is set back and modulated to allow a continued view of the cathedral spire. The building adds 151,000 square feet of commercial space including restaurant space on the main floor, with a partially enclosed plaza with outdoor seating between the existing building and the new one. The style seems distinctly European – it wouldn’t be out of place in London or Berlin. The Metro Core Plan added allowable density to the site, so it can be built as a development permit without a rezoning, so can move ahead if it gets an Urban Design thumbs up.

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2221 Main Street

The City of Vancouver just unveiled their ‘housing reset’ to increase supply of affordable housing. Here’s an example of what that might look like; a 9-storey rental building in Mount Pleasant.

Proposed by Catalyst Community Developments Society and Marcon Developments with the City of Vancouver’s Affordable Housing Agency, it would see 145 social housing rental units over retail. The rezoning is for a site that for many years has been a City-owned parking lot, acquired for a road building project abandoned several years ago. There’s a proposed park also intended for the southern end of the site.

Half the units will be two and three bed apartments. There would be nearly 10,000 square feet of commercial space in the Rositch Hemphill designed building. Our image shows what it would look like from Kingsway.

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530 and 575 Drake Street

Right now there are two social service buildings on the corner of Seymour Street; Covenant House occupy a two storey converted office building at 575 Drake Street and the Immigrant Services Society were in the three storey building across the street. With a fabulous new home on Victoria Drive, the ISS have vacated their former premises and Covenant House have obtained a rezoning to allow redevelopment to create a 5 storey building to replace that building. (The existing building actually dates back to the early 1900s when it was built for Philo Johnson – probably a successful Yukon gold miner.)

Across the street will be a ten storey building that will replace the existing Covenant House structure. The redevelopment will occur in phases with construction and fundraising over the next 5 years with an anticipated completion of the larger building in 2020.

The buildings are designed by NSDA Architects, and both look a little like some of their other recent non-market buildings for BC Housing. We’ve posted the new renders of the newly submitted Development Permit designs, which are relatively unchanged from the rezoning.

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1800 Main Street

Francl Architecture designed an interesting building already approved for the south west corner of Main and West 2nd Avenue. Now there’s a new proposal across the street on the south east corner, also designed by Francl. This is for 131 rental units in a project for Cressey.

If approved as a rezoning, it will be 11 storeys with a retail base. There’s a mix of unit sizes, with 34 studios, 51 1-bed 36 2-bed and 10 3-bed. The site is irregular, so the building has an angled prow.

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320 Granville Street

320-granville-v3320 Granville was another Downtown office rezoning proposed in 2012 to replace an ageing parkade at Granville on the south side of Cordova. Originally a tower was designed by VIA Architecture, following the recent trend of an angled element on the facade to add some interest without compromising the potential for the greatest floor area. That version was not supported by the Urban Design Panel, so nearly 18 months later a revised design (below) was submitted and subsequenly approved.

320-granville-v2It had 32 storeys, totalling 380,000 sq ft of space. Initially a daycare was proposed on the top floor, but that idea was dropped quite early in the process. Since 2013 all has been quiet about the project, but two other towers are also moving ahead on the same block.

Now with a new owner, Bosa Development, a totally different version is going to the DP Board in the spring. Now with 30 floors, the design, and the architect has changed, although the floorspace is the same.

Kohn Pedersen Fox of New York have designed the new, curvy, tower with local partners Chris Dikeakos Architects. There’s a fairly open cutaway corner, as this picture of the model (above) viewed (and supported) by the Urban Design panel shows.

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1002 West 10th Avenue

1002-w-10th-elevationThis is a proposal for a new rental tower in an area that has seen very little development in several years. The site currently has a 2-storey 13 unit rental building dating back to 1945.

The replacement is proposed to have 62 rental units in 12 floors (including the penthouse floor).

The architects are the Iredale Group, and there’s no render available, but here’s what the east elevation looks like.

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131 Water Street


We anticipated this project for a while as it had been discussed in various Heritage committees in the recent past. Now it’s a development application which has finally appeared on the City’s website, showing two new seven storey mixed-use commercial/residential buildings replacing the Henriquez designed Gaslight Square and retaining the facades of three existing heritage buildings adjacent on either side. The architects are Rositch Hemphill Architects, and while The Heritage Commission supported the project, (while regretting the loss of Gaslight Square) it was narrowly rejected by the Urban Design Panel.

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 (and narrowly non-supported) by the UDP in November 2016.

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