1500 Robson Street

This rental tower is a new development application about to be posted to the City of Vancouver’s website. It’s for the corner of Robson and Nicola; (we’re showing the Robson façade). At present there are two small buildings with only 12 rental units: GWL Advisers are proposing a 21 storey mixed-use building with retail on the street and 127 rental units above, with 42 two or three bedroom units.

This IBI Group designed tower is planned across Nicola Street from the two towers that would replace the Empire Landmark hotel – although those are proposed as market rather than rental units.

If there are no major design issues raised, the project will be considered at a July Development Permit Board meeting.

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7 E6th and 7 W6th Avenue


7 E6th

7 E6th renderHere’s another example of how the Mount Pleasant industrial area continues to evolve. We published the render in 2014 when this 50′ site had a 1907 house on a corner lot. By 2015 this 18,000 square foot office and industrial building had replaced it. We weren’t sure initially who the architect was, but it is MallenGowingBerzins architects (MGBA), a firm with a lot of recent history for designing interior spaces in the city, (including some of our favourite bar restaurants) but relatively few buildings.

7 W6thThis might be start of a trend – there’s now an almost identical twin just completed  immediately across the street (appropriately called ‘The Mirror Building’).

This one has clothing manufacturing on the main floor, and then two floors of office above. The coloured render for this one suggested some thing other than a grey insert, but they really are mirror images, except the new building has painted, rather than raw concrete.

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58 West Hastings Street

This rezoning in the Downtown Eastside has been anticipated for some time. The site is big, and has been vacant for several years. It was last owned by Concord Pacific, who designed a condo project here, but some years later handed it on to the City of Vancouver as part of a Community Amenity Contribution package for additional density near Cambie Bridgehead.

Now there’s a proposal for a ten-storey mixed-use building designed by W T Leung, with small scale retail uses on the ground floor. A health care clinic and medical and dental offices will occupy the rear portion of the ground floor, as well as the second and third floors. The upper floors, which have a 12 foot setback on the west side, needed there because of the windows on the side of the adjacent building.

The project will have 222 non-market rental units with 54 of them 2-bed family apartments. It’s being developed by The Chinatown Foundation working with Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency. Given the location and the need in that area it seems likely that it’ll be a mix of low-income tenants, including some families. It will be managed by a third-party housing operator. In October last year it was reported that the $30 million that the foundation plans to contribute would allow 125 units to be rented out at subsidized rates.

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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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