137 East 4th Avenue

The office projects are continuing to show up in Mount Pleasant. Here’s a seven storey tech office over industry building proposed in the new I-1A zone that allows higher density developments close to Main Street. This would see 58,000 square feet of space on a relatively tight site. The project is designed by Perkins + Will for Mondivan.

There’s no render on the City’s website, just a (misleadingly black) elevation, but this picture is on the developer’s website. The application describes a ‘colourful play of extruded profile screens’, so the image may be missing some details.

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Olivia Skye – 41 East Hastings Street

This 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. The render of the first version is on the the right.

Once the rezoning had been approved there was a revised version submitted for a Development Permit with a new design by IBI Group. The design had a more glazed appearance, and it now had 198 units, still maintaining a mix of low end of market and shelter rate non-market housing units 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 replaces a modest 3 storey building, best known as the recent home of United We Can, the binners not for profit organization, which has moved to the False Creek Flats.

The version as built is slightly different again, although there are still 198 units. Named Olivia Skye, it honours a former Atira tenant, Marnie Crassweller; her daughters are named Olivia and Skye. Marnie died of a fentanyl overdose in November 2016, and Skye Crassweller overdosed in August 2017. Costing $32 million to build, funds came from the City of Vancouver, BC Housing, and the Streetohome Foundation, which donated more than $1 million.

Local first nations artist Judy Chartrand was asked to create art for the 14 glass panels on the front façade of Olivia Skye, as well as for the glass canopy.

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750 Pacific Boulevard (Plaza of Nations)


It may be officially 750 Pacific, but it’s the Plaza of Nations to everyone in the city. Or at least, it was – this rezoning will presumably see it getting a new name. The initial proposal for the site was submitted in 2012 and proposed up to 2,000 apartments with 350,000 sq ft of commercial space including a hotel and retail. It also included a new practice arena for the Canucks which would be a public skating rink the rest of the time.

The most striking gesture was James Cheng’s proposed ‘grand arch’ tower (seen on the right). Now that design is history, and a different concept has emerged with terraced forms creating a frame for a view of the stadium.

There are no unit numbers yet, and the design is still conceptual, but there would be around 1,350,000 sq ft of residential space and 350,000 of non-residential, as in the first proposal. The rezoning showed a block massing (left) which has now been refined into the more detailed model (seen at the recent open house, above), although the design of individual buildings is still not in any way accurate.

The project includes social housing, civic facilities, including a community centre, ice rink and a 69-space childcare facility; and a new community plaza and seawall. It looks as if the final vestige of Expo (other than Science World) will be the small grove of evergreen trees on a promontory.


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Duke – 333 East 11th Avenue

E11th rentalWe first featured this substantial rental residential building on the corner of East 11th and Kingsway in June 2013. The design, by Acton Ostry, was changed following an initial rejection by the Urban Design Panel. The first version had 13 storeys with 195 units over ground floor commercial space; the second iteration (this model above from October 2013), had 15 floors but six fewer units.

It was both a rezoning and a development permit application under the Rental 100 Program (so it will be rental for 60 years or the life of the building). The 2015 version (the render above) saw a number of changes to improve light into the courtyard and it’s ended up with 14 storeys and 201 units. Construction has taken a while, and is just wrapping up, about six months behind the developer’s anticipated schedule.

The most striking addition is what the architects describe as “a vibrant, fuscia-coloured public art piece, suspended in the slot, imbues the opening with a striking, soft pink glow”.

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870 East 8th Avenue

This is an affordable rental building that’s already been rezoned, and is now submitted for its Development Permit.

Called ‘Mi Casa’, The Red Door Housing Society currently have a 22 unit 1986 building here, on three floors. This is a 51 unit replacement on seven floors, designed by DYS. Over half the units will be family sized – 2-bed or more (7 2-bed and 24 3-bed).

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1040 – 1080 Barclay Street

Here’s the next West End towers proposed for a rezoning. This time Bosa and Kingswood have teamed up to propose 481 market strata units and 162 social housing units designed by Buro Ole Scheeren – the same architect who designed Bosa’s 1500 West Georgia tower. As with that project, Francl Architecture would be the architect of record (the local partner).

It’s always confusing to describe where projects are located in north-south-east-west terms on a 45 degree grid, but the project would be on the southern corner of Barclay and Thurlow Street, (although the application letter says northwest) and the scheme proposes retail uses on Thurlow.



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Vya – 235 Kingsway

This condo project in Mount Pleasant first appeared here in 2014. It’s on Kingsway, right next door to a rental building (nearing completion). This wasn’t a rezoning, and it had no problems with the Urban Design Panel.

235 KingswayThe sales render (above) was a little less accurate about the surroundings than the version in the development permit (left). The building to the north, a hotel, is a bit taller than the grey box on the left in the render suggests, and the rental building had disappeared altogether.

The building, called Vya, has 43 apartments built over retail space in a 6-storey building. It’s designed by Robert Ciccozzi Architecture for developer Portliving.

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