1290 Homer Street

Here is the now released illustration of a proposal to add three floors to the MacPherson & Teetzel warehouse in Yaletown that sold in 2016 for $9.75m. The new structure will include seismic improvements for the existing building, which will be added to the Heritage Register.

Like all the developments in Yaletown in the past few years, the project ignores the opportunity to add condos and instead is proposing extra office space. Over 17,000 sq. ft. of space will be added to the existing 11,000 sq. ft. building. The architects are Acton Ostry, who are experienced in carrying out this sort of addition to the Yaletown heritage area.

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288 East Hastings Street

We first published this proposal for the corner of Gore Avenue and East Hastings in the fall of 2015. It was the first to emerge from the Downtown Eastside Plan under the new DEOD zoning rules that only permit rental housing – and requires 40% of the space (and 60% of the units) to be used for non-market housing. Having received support from the Urban Design Panel, the project was quickly approved by the Development Permit Board.

The model of the approved building is on the right – the as built is almost exactly as promised. We think it’s a model for adding density and height without completely overwhelming the prevailing height of the heritage buildings. The yellow details have been see on several other new projects in the area, and contrast really well with the red and brown brickwork and the darker panels.

Endall Elliot designed the 12-storey building with retail on the main floor and 172 units of rental housing, with 104 of them being non-market units. The developer is Wall Financial, partnering with BC Housing for the non-market part of the building. On our historical blog we looked at the site nearly 40 years ago, and at the Empress Theatre that first occupied this corner.

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325-333 Carrall Street

Although it hasn’t shown up on the City’s website yet, this is an infill project proposed for a tight site in Gastown. Once the location of the Louvre Hotel, there’s now a vacant site and a propped up heritage building next to the Merchants Bank building behind Pigeon Park. Newly formed architectural firm Human Studio Architecture (led by experienced local architect Bruce Haden) have designed a seven and five storey building which would have commercial at grade and a total of 38 dwelling units and 13 micro dwelling units, which are proposed to be market rental.

The Urban Design Panel have already reviewed (and supported) the project, as has the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee, who suggested several changes, but none that would change the massing. The heritage building, known as The McConnell Building, will only have the façade retained (providing it stays standing that long!)


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The Charleson – 1396 Richards Street

We first saw a tower proposed for 1300 Richards (now renamed as 498 Drake Street) in 2012, and it was approved for development a year later. The Charleson is a 43 storey tower that bookends the block; it was submitted at almost the same time and is just completing. Like 1300 Richards it’s designed by DIALOG, although this time for Onni, the company who also developed another 41 storey DIALOG designed tower nearby (The Mark).

This tower had 130 rental units in a 9-storey podium (along with a 37 space childcare) and 130 condo units in the tower. The design rationale explains that the angled tower is a result of only a very small part of the development not being affected by a viewcone that crosses the site. As a result the tower floorplates are quite small – even for Vancouver. (Here’s what was on the site  before). The initial design for the development permit was rejected by the Design Panel – not for the tower, but for the podium. The revised design (shown above) was accepted and the finished building matches the render.

What wasn’t anticipated in any of the renders of the building was the public art component. Because the site is constrained (being narrower than most city blocks), the building has an elevator core running the full height of the tower, on the outside. There was a vague hint of art in the render above, but the reveal this week has shown a dramatic piece called ‘Finger Paint’. 416 feet high, and 30 feet wide, it was created by Vancouver artist Elizabeth McIntosh, and has already attracted strong comments, both in favour and against its design.

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888 West Broadway

This is already the location of a hotel; The Park Inn. This rezoning proposal would see two new buildings, one replacing the adjacent Fairview Pub, and one the existing hotel. Together there would be 438 hotel units (258 short-term and 180 long-term stay).

The design, by Arno Matis Architecture, is typically bold, with retail and commercial uses proposed at grade (including, no doubt, at least one restaurant), and towers above of 10 and 12 storeys over six levels of parking.

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1160 Broughton Street

This six unit infill is part of the West End Plan’s Laneway 2.0 initiative. It would see three 1-bed and three 2-bed rental units in a 4-storey block on the laneway – which now has a name: See-em-ia Lane (named for the granddaughter of Chief Capilano and wife of Eihu, a Hawaiian settler who was one of original settlers at Kanaka Ranch on the south shore of Coal Harbour near Stanley Park, and also has a newly named lane).

The architects are Marianne Amodio Architecture Studio, and the building will replace a surface parking lot behind a retained 10-storey rental building completed in 1969. It will face other laneway units being developed as part of Mirabel on Davie Street.

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204 West 6th Avenue

Another addition to the Mount Pleasant office and industrial revival, this 27,000 sq ft building is just completing, replacing a small 40-year old building. The panel colour changes with the lighting conditions – in bright sunlight it has a rich bronze tone.

Designed by MGBA who designed two other recent Mount Pleasant buildings, this four-storey fully leased building has two floors of office over two floors of clothing manufacturing. It’s taken two years from demolition of the previous building to completion.

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