498 Drake Street

This new tower was approved for rezoning over five years ago. It’s located on the southern end of the Downtown peninsula. The design changed for the development permit to the one below. (We’re showing the same view for both the built, and the design, from Richards and Drake).

DIALOG’s design for the 258 unit 43 storey tower includes retail space at the base of the tower, and 12 townhouses. It first appeared on the City’s website in January 2012, went to a March Urban Design Panel as a first step in the approval process and received  unanimous support.

Wall Financial are the developers, and unusually (but not uniquely) the rezoning was accompanied by an offer to build $23.5 million worth of non-market housing on another Downtown South south site. Despite paying a contribution based on a strata project, Wall have decided (for now at least) to lease all the units in the building, now named Peter Wall’s Yaletown. Two bed two bath units are being offered at $2,750 a month.

Apart from the change from golden balcony glass to clear with a white band, the tower hasn’t really differed from the plans. The original render eliminated the taper that is experienced looking up a 43 storey slim tower (the block is 20 feet narrower than a typical block), so appears somewhat different, but that was purely artistic licence.

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13 Responses to 498 Drake Street

  1. YABC. Yet another boring condo. Not that you guys have a line with the developer but my wife and I (who will one day need to move out of our 1 br 1 bath condo) want a builder who will build something with a little character–some frills, some flourishes, some artistic sensibility. How about a modern interpretation of a Yaletown post-and-beam or an East Coast brick town home with brick walls throughout (no drywall!) and a cornice. Tell the developers we’re bored!

    • ChangingCity says:

      You’re right – we don’t have a line with any developers; we just report the latest proposals as they emerge. The last ‘different’ projects were called Artimesia and Thalia – and both failed before they even started (although Artimisia is now back from the dead). The twisty tower opposite Shangri La has started up again after years of hiatus, and 1400 Howe is dramatic. We’re betting you’ll need deep pockets for either of the last two projects once they sell- and they won’t have brick walls either!

  2. Nearby neighbor says:

    I hope they build sensible lay outs for people too………and decent size places. I also hope the building quality is ok….I haven’t heard the greatest things about these “Leed” projects. I’m just happy Boss Nightclub is finally being torn down. (I currently am a resident in the area)

  3. A-to-the-B says:

    Vancouver architecture is in such a rut. Boring boxy designs. It’s interesting that Dialog can simultaneously propose this boring junk while they pitch the 1400 Howe which at least has something different about it.

    Is the problem with architects, developer or the Urban Design Panel? Or is Vancouver destined to continue to be a boring place in beautiful surroundings?

    • I agree A-to-the-B, 1400 Howe looks great, but remember these things often look better on paper than they look in actuality. Part of the problem is a reluctance–perhaps understandable given that we’re in an earthquake zone–is to use different building materials. Pretty much no one in Vancouver wants to build a steel or wood beam and metal tie structure with a masonry exterior. Gastown/Yaletown which are, by my lights, the most beautiful and important parts of Vancouver simply wouldn’t be built today, and yet some semblance of that aesthetic it seems to me, is necessary to break the pure functionality (Mies! I hate you!) of contemporary Vancouver architecture.

  4. Louis Deyong says:

    The proposed 43 story will not complement the existing neighborhood. Although residents recognize that it is downtown and that increased density is inevitable, the disproportionate height of this proposed tower will be situated too close to existing buildings. It is immediately across the lane from one tower and immediately across the street from another. Right now, between the existing towers there is some apparent “breathing space” or a sense of spaciousness. The new proposed tower will mean that residents in the existing buildings will be looking straight into the windows of the proposed towers. If new towers are to be built, hopefully the city will do it in a way where there is some open space between towers. Hopefully, the city realizes that increased density has to be done with some sensitivity to those already living in the area. In order to build this new tower a zoning change is necessary. To allow a zoning change that varies so drastically from existing zoning seems outrageous. Existing zoning only allows for a few stories on this site.

  5. l says:

    I hope they compensate the the existing owners the drop in value of their homes with the loss of their views….

    • ChangingCity says:

      We’re not sure why anybody living in Downtown Vancouver would expect their view to remain unchanged – especially anybody with an under developed site that they can see over.

  6. Noam Goldreich says:

    Why are they building the tower section in front of the 501? Move the tower section over the the other end of the development site and everyone will be happy.

    • ChangingCity says:

      We think you mean 1396 Richards? 1300 is at the north end of the block; 1396 is opposite The 501. It’s an interesting question – the two towers can’t be too close together, but there are plenty of examples where the towers are closer than suggested on this block. Although they have different developers, the two towers have the same architect, DIALOG. The developer of the 501 was Onni (with Amacon), and the developer of the tower to the west, The Mark is also Onni (also designed by DIALOG), so that’s three Onni towers side-ny-side.

      • peter b says:

        I think most of the 1396 Richards site is over a view cone from a point on south false creek to The Lions — so the tower part of 1396 is limited how far into the block it can extend.

      • ChangingCity says:

        Technically it’s under a viewcone – but you’re correct in saying that’s a limiting factor which means the total height of this building can’t exceed 418 feet, and the rezoning referal report also says 1396 will have a very slim (small floorplate) tower as a result. The viewcones have resulted in some of the most interesting sculpted buildings almost by accident – including Shangri La and the twisting Trump Tower slowly being built on West Georgia.

  7. Greg Arden says:

    Approved last night, conditional on improving the south east facade. Only Adriane opposed. James Schowuw was among the speakers against the increased height and density of the project.

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