The West End Plan freed up a small number of locations where 550 foot tall towers might be considered. One of those locations is on Nelson Street, on the same block as the Baptist church. Wall Financial held an initial open house, and at one point seemed likely to submit a rezoning proposal around the end of October 2015 – but that didn’t happen (and rumours suggested the site had been sold).
Designed by three architectural firms, Chris Doray, Nick Milkovich and IBI, the tower met almost all the plan criteria – it included 25% of the space as non-market housing and the tower had a reasonably slender profile (the plan limits floorplates to 7,500 square feet). One issue was that the building was proposed at 550 feet high plus a complicated solar panel array rooftop that looks to add another 50 feet – our reading of the plan suggests that the tower can be as tall as 550′, but the added crown is quite a bit more than towers usually have, so we suspect that either that feature would have had to be reduced or the tower would have been a bit shorter.
All of that is theoretical now as the site’s sale seems to be confirmed, and the new owner doesn’t appear to have any interest in using the initial design.
The image in the package produced by the developer showed the tower as one of a cluster of four – two were (as far as we know) placeholders, but there’s another project where a rezoning was anticipated on the Baptist church site, designed by Bing Thom for Westbank (seen on the right in this model). You’ll find that project elsewhere on the blog.