Harwood and Thurlow Streets

Bosa BlueSky held a pre-rezoning open house to introduce a pair of linked rezoned tower proposals. The two sites are on either side of Harwood Street’s 1000 block at Thurlow Street. While each project in this part of the West End is expected to provide 25% of the floorspace as non-market housing (given to the City of Vancouver as an airspace parcel), here the idea is that 25% of the total space is non-market, but in only one of the two towers.

This would create 98 non-market rental units, (the same number in the existing market rental buildings on the sites) as well as 61 condos, while the second tower would have 143 condo units. The towers are similar in design, but not a matched pair, and are currently proposed at 32 and 33 storeys high. They’re designed, as many of the West End projects, by Henriquez Partners Architects.

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1616 West Georgia Street

Shato Holdings, who own White Spot, have held an initial open house for a pair of condo towers they’re proposing to develop under the West End Plan. The 33 and 39 storey towers would have a 3-storey podium and 350 condo units, 75% of them 2-bed or larger. Like the recently completed White Spot redevelopment on Cambie Street, the architects are IBI Group.

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Smithe and Richards

Here’s the refined final design for a new Downtown South park, located on land acquired by the city for a possible park well over a decade ago. Now with Development Cost Levy funding and some of the Community Amenity Contribution from Telus Garden, the project is in the final stretch. (The sketch of the pre-application version from a year ago is shown below).

Park render 2Compared to some of the city’s park’s this looks as if it could be quite dynamic. The buildings to the east, across the lane, were never designed to be seen, as it was anticipated then (over twenty five years ago) that this site would be built on. The design includes a screen of trees along the back, a coffee kiosk near the street corner (which could be as successful as the green roofed J J Bean by the CBC), and a diagonal rising walkway that ends in mid-air. There’s also an event area, taking advantage of the significant slope of the site, and which doubles as a water feature in the summer.

This proposal finally offers a design for a park that really adds something different to the Downtown. Now there just needs to be a re-working of the awful granite Yaletown Park nearby.

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224 West 8th Avenue

Rendition Developments have been developing a series of new I-1 zoned buildings in the Mount Pleasant Industrial area. This is, we think, the fifth designed by MGBA Architects. It’s a mid-block site, with four floors totaling 36,253 sq. ft. of space split between industrial uses in a third of the space (on the main floor, with a mezzanine) and office in the other two thirds, as the zoning permits.

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728-796 Main Street

After much delay, this is finally a rezoning proposal. It’s for a site that’s one of very few where the Downtown Eastside Plan allows the possibility of 150 feet tall buildings, on the corner between V6A and Ginger. The opportunity is only possible because the revisions to the Plan haven’t been adopted yet. Those would see no further rezonings, after significant public concern expressed about the two taller buildings already completed, and one proposed on Keefer Street where City Council did not approve the rezoning.

An earlier version was shown by Studio One Architecture nearly three years ago, (below) that looks to have pretty similar massing, but was less refined in terms of detailing. After that the site was offered for sale for a while, but it appears not to have sold as the same owners are behind the new design. The 18 SRO units currently on the site will be replaced with 19 units to be given to the City of Vancouver, and there would by 99 condos over retail.

Main & UnionCurrently there’s a tired hostel that was a Single Room Occupancy hotel, a former vegetarian restaurant and yoga studio, the Brickhouse club and the former site of the Jimi Hendrix shrine (There’s no actual direct connection between Jimi and the shrine’s location, which started life as a cab stand and was later a storage room for a now-demolished restaurant). Supposedly the new scheme will reference this mythical connection, and also potentially replace the bar, if the former owner wants to continue to operate it.

It remains to be seen if this project raises as many objections as 105 Keefer, and if so whether Council will nevertheless choose to support it.

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177 West Pender Street

The City of Vancouver have owned this vacant lot on West Pender Street since 2014 when they became owners as part of the Millennium Properties bankruptcy.

Now there’s a proposal to rezone it for non-market housing, designed by DYS for Ventana who will build the project on behalf of the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency.

There will be 90 1-bed units, most of them 250 sq ft micro units, in a 10-storey building, with a setback after the seventh floor. The design is intended to compliment the heritage building that surround the site. There’s some continuity here: Davidson and Yuen (the D and Y in DYS) designed Pendera, a 1989 non-market housing building two buildings to the east of this site.

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801 Main Street

Here’s another rezoning related to Northeast False Creek. Designed by Perkins + Will for the City of Vancouver, it’s a massing study for the western of the two city blocks that will be freed up for development by the removal of the Dunsmuir and Georgia viaducts. The render shows the view from the Quebec Street side of the block.

Three structures are proposed, with a 22 storey building in the middle of the site and lower buildings facing Main. The Quebec side shown here has an eleven storey building with two lower wings at right angles. The main floors throughout would have retail uses, and a large food store is illustrated as a possible tenant, facing Pacific Boulevard. A plaza is shown running from Union to Pacific, roughly mid block. There are no details of unit counts, or tenures, but over the two City-owned blocks it is intended that two to three hundred affordable housing units should be created, as well as market housing.

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