Mixed Use Development Planned for Run-down Motel Site

Serracan Properties have submitted a rezoning enquiry for a site at 725 SE Marine Drive, at the corner of Fraser and Southeast Marine Drive. Currently occupied by a 6-storey, 100-room Super 8 Motel, and formerly known at the Blue Boy Motor Hotel since it was originally built in 1963; the 1.77 acre site is currently zoned CD-1.

As the existing CD zoning only allows hotel and retail uses, Serracan is now seeking a rezoning to allow a mix of uses, including residential. The site falls under the Sunset Community Vision, which allows site-specific rezoning only after preliminary planning work and community consultation is completed. Serracan, in conjunction with planning consultancy Brook Pooni, have already been consulting with the surrounding neighbourhood since 2013 and appear to have positive feedback from the community.

City council need to confirm that they will consider a rezoning application for the site before it goes to the application process.

Early concepts for the site include:

  • Commercial, community uses and residential
  • Towers ranging from 15 to 26 storeys
  • A neighbourhood food store
  • Public benefits including: childcare, community facilities, affordable housing
  • Negotiated community amenity contribution (as opposed to fixed rate)
Site today

Site today

508 Helmcken Street Going Back to Public Hearing

The controversial project at Helmcken and Richards whose permits were cancelled by a BC Supreme Court judge in January, is now heading back to public hearing.

The City of Vancouver is now reconsidering the application by Brenhill Development that was submitted on April 26, 2013, to rezone the site for a 36-storey mixed-use building including:

  • 448 residential units, of which 110 would be market rental and 338 strata-titled,
  • a private pre-school and kindergarten, and
  • commercial space on the ground floor.

As a public benefit associated with this rezoning application, Brenhill negotiated a deal with the City to provide social housing in a new building on a site it owned at 1099 Richards Street as part of a land swap to replace housing for the residents of Jubilee House presently located at 508 Helmcken Street. The site at 1099 Richards was already above ground with construction at the time of the judge’s ruling in January.

The decision (Community Association of New Yaletown v. Vancouver (City), 2015 BCSC 117) resulted in By-law 10870, which rezoned 508 Helmcken Street, being quashed and directed that a new Public Hearing be held.

Stay tuned for additional documents that will be considered by Council…

Rental Apartment Building Planned for Norquay Village Area

A rezoning application has been submitted for a 12,011 SF site in the Norquay Village area of East Vancouver. The site consists of three single family lots located at 2312-2328 Galt Street. It is currently zoned RS-1 single family and is being proposed for a 4-storey apartment building. It is located in an area of the Norquay Village Plan that is considered an apartment transition area. The proposal includes:

    • 28 secured market rental units;
    • a density of 2.25 FSR
    • a building height of 41.5 ft.
    • 24 underground parking spaces.

This application is being considered under the Norquay Village Apartment Transition Area Rezoning Policy and the Secured Market Rental Housing (Rental 100) Program.

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6-Storey Building Proposed for Cambie Corridor

Pennyfarthing Developments has applied to rezone a 22,166 SF site at Northeast corner of Cambie and West 26th Avenue. The plan for 4162-4188 Cambie Street is to rezone from RS-1 to CD-1 for a 6-storey condo building that includes:

    • 56 units
    • a building height of 64 ft. from grade
    • a density of 2.56 FSR
    • 66 underground parking spaces

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Ledingham McAllister Scales Back Second Aviara Tower

Ledingham Mcallister is in the latter stages of rezoning approval for it’s second Aviara tower in the Brentwood are of Burnaby. Originally conceived as a 52-storey tower for which they received second reading in 2013, this second phase of the project has now been scaled back to 42-storeys, with 4-6 storeys fronting Gilmore Avenue and Douglas Road.

The report to council explains the change:

“Through this design work it became apparent to the applicant that the structure required to support the specific building form for the proposed 52 storey building would be inefficient and uneconomical. As a result, the applicant has redesigned the tower and reduced its height to 42 storeys, with a reduced development density. Given the change in form and density of the tower, the rezoning is required to be forwarded to a new Public Hearing.”

The previous proposal had 595 units in a 5.0 FAR density. The new proposal has 520 units and 4.41 FAR. There is a community amenity contribution of $73 per buildable SF, or $11,027,061.

This is not the first Burnaby highrise development that has not pursued maximum allowable height upon rezoning. The tallest towers at Station Square in Metrotown were also scaled down in 2014 after initially proposing towers as tall as 57-storeys (all towers are reportedly less than 50-storeys now). Shape Properties’ Amazing Brentwood project is envisioned as two 56-storey towers despite preliminary approval to go as high as 70-storeys.

These cases in Burnaby are an interesting contrast to the City of Vancouver, where taller buildings are more economically viable due to higher residential sales values for view units higher up in towers. In Vancouver however, building height limits are vigorously enforced by the City, particularly downtown where view cones now restrict heights on all but a few remaining sites.

72-Units Proposed for Cambie & 59th Street Site

A rezoning application has been filed for the Flamingo Restaurant site at 7516-7550 Cambie Street. The 29,500 SF site, which consists of three lots, is currently zoned C-1 & RT-1 and RS-1. The proposal, which is being made under the Cambie Corridor Plan, includes:

    • Two 6-storey buildings
    • ground-level commercial space
    • 72 residential units;
    • a density of 2.9 FSR
    • a total height of 76.8 ft
    • 133 underground parking spaces

7550 Cambie7550 Cambie_2flamingoThe site sold in March 2014 for $12,500,000, or $146 per buildable SF if the proposed density is achieved.

This is the 27th rezoning application being made under the Cambie Corridor Plan since it came into place in 2011.

40-storey Tower Proposed for Downtown Site

Townline Homes has applied to the City of Vancouver to rezone the Quality Inn site at 1335 Howe Street from DD to CD-1 to permit a 40-storey residential building and includes:

      • a density of 11.2 FSR
      • 389 market condo units
      • a 378 ft. tower with a 7-storey podium (height limited by view cone)
      • 24,000 SF of transferred heritage density
      • Average 6,500 SF tower floorplate
      • a 37-space childcare facility
The site is 24,000 SF and is located mid-block, book-ended between two existing towers: an 18-storey with 7-storey podium building at 1379 Howe (The Executive Inn); and a 19-storey building with 7-storey podium building at 1311 Howe st. (Viva Tower).
The proposed project sits between two other active tower projects one block away: Vancouver House (59 storeys) and Tate (40 storeys).

Policies allowing rezoning include: Vancouver’s Downtown Capacity Review Study, Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings and the Downtown Official Development Plan.

The site made headlines in 2014 as it was announced that the building would be operated as temporary homeless housing. Information on the current shelter facility can be found here.

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