Oxford Properties Unveils Plans for Melville Street Tower

Oxford Properties has formally applied to rezone their property at 1133 Melville Street; a 30,510 SF site currently occupied by a 7-storey parkade and office building topped with two floors of vacant multi-residential.

The project, rumoured for the last couple of years, calls for a 33-storey office building with retail at grade, including:

    • a building height of 524 ft.;
    • 658,687 SF of office and retail space;
    • a density of 22.65 FSR; and
    • 287 underground parking spaces.

This rezoning application is being considered under the Rezoning Policy for the Central Business District (CBD) and CBD Shoulder, General Policy for Higher Buildings and Rezoning Policy for Sustainable Large Developments.

Once completed, it will be one of the tallest and largest office buildings in Vancouver. Comparable nearby shorter towers include Bentall 5, which contains 583,000 SF of office space; Park Place at 596,000 SF; and Bentall IV at 548,000 SF.

1133 Melville_2

1133 Melville 1133 Melville_1

The architect team of KPF and Kasian, describes the project in the application:

“The tower consists of multiple volumes. A step creates green terraces and demarcates volumes. A diagonal cut through the building reduces shadow impact and creates an iconic crown to cap the tower, alluding to the surrounding layered landscape of Vancouver’s mountain backdrop.

The project stands at 33 storeys. Typical floor plates are approximately 20,000 SF with a five storey bustle on the west side of the tower separating the tower volume from the adjacent Loden Hotel and providing 5 floors with a 23,000 SF floor plate. The ground floor is programmed with both lobby and active retail space.”

Oxford acquired the property in 2010 for $27,650,000. The property was previously owned by Amacon who developed the Loden Hotel next door. Amacon had originally planned a hotel and office tower project on the property, but later elected to sell it.

North Van Rental Proposal Targets Apartment Density

A rezoning application in North Vancouver intends to replace two low-density apartment buildings with a new 6-storey rental apartment building and could be a good model for other rental projects in the City of North Vancouver and elsewhere in the Lower Mainland.

The proposal for the 12,014 SF site at 362-368 East 3rd Street is to replace two older apartment buildings with a combined total of 11 apartments, with 40 rental units in a new 6-storey building. The proposed density is 2.6 FSR per the recently adopted OCP for the area. The plan includes only 9 parking stalls on the surface at the rear of the new building.

The unit mix includes:

  • Nine 3-bedroom units
  • Ten 2-bedroom units
  • Six 1-bedroom units
  • Fifteen studio unit

Because the proposed project is 100% secured rental housing, there will be no community amenity contribution.362-368 East 3rd_3

Current Site Condition

Current Site Condition

362-368 East 3rd_2

The application is still preliminary and requires council approval to move through the standard rezoning process.

Large Scale Rezoning Planned for Central Steam Site

Westbank is planning to rezone the Central Steam site at the Southeast corner of West Georgia and Beatty Street that Ian Gillespie acquired in 2013.The site is 73,958 SF in size and zoned DD and BCPED, neither of which allow residential, but the proposed rezoning is seeking residential in exchange for public benefit, at the discretion of the Director of Planning. In this case, the public benefit is proposed to be a reduction in the City’s GHG emissions.

Details of the proposed rezoning include:

  • a 300,000-350,000 SF office building on Beatty
  • a 300,000-400,000 SF rental apartment building
  • 25,000 SF of retail on the lower side plaza next to Expo Blvd.
  • Overall non-residential density is proposed to exceed the 7.0 FSR minimum
    commercial requirement.
  • The existing Steam Plant (70,000 SF) will either be re-engineered and integrated
    into the development as a back-up function, or relocated off-site.
  • In addition, a new low carbon heating plant will be built off-site in the False Creek Flats that will be linked to the distribution network and this will be a public benefit

Central Steam2

Central Steam

“The rezoning of the Central Steam site provides an opportunity to transform a quasi-
industrial site into a well-designed development in keeping with its important location in the Central Business District. In addition, the ability to switch the fuel source of the
Central Steam plant to a low-carbon energy system presents an important opportunity to achieve a substantial public objective related to our city’s carbon reduction goals, and would represent a great leap toward Vancouver’s goal of being the Greenest City in the World by 2020. As such, staff recommend that City Council indicate its willingness to consider a rezoning application from Creative Energy for the Central Steam site for consideration at a future Public Hearing subject to the Recommendations in this Report.

More Townhouses Coming for Oak Street

Listraor, a local development company that specializes in townhouses, is planning their third development near Oak and 41st, in between two other townhouse project already approved earlier this year.

Currently zoned RS-1, the lots in question total 14,392 and are being proposed for rezoning to townhouse under the Oakridge Langara Policy Statement. Details include:

    • 2 buildings, with a maximum height of 4 storeys (38 ft.);
    • 12 market townhouse units between 1,387 and 1,511 SF
    • a density of 1.20 FSR;
    • 24 underground parking spaces;
    • 24 bicycle spaces.

5470 Oak 5470 Oak_1The site sits between two other Listraor projects that have already been approved. To the North is a 12-unit townhouse project, and to the South – a 19-unit townhouse project.

6-Storey Condo Development Planned Near King Edward Station

Tianco Group has applied to rezone a 26,579 SF site at 526-548 West King Edward Avenue from RS-1 to CD-1 under the guidelines of the Cambie Corridor Plan. The proposal is for a 6-storey residential building and five townhouses along the lane, including:

    • 69 residential units;
    • a maximum building height of 63 ft.;
    • a density of 2.45; and
    • 65 underground parking spaces.

526 West King Ed_2526 West King Ed 526 West King Ed_1

The site is an assembly of three single family lots that were assembled and sold in 2011.

More details on the rezoning application can be found here.

Market Spotlight: City of Vancouver CACs and Density Bonusing

The City of Vancouver has released an administrative report that provides information on Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) and Density Bonusing for 2014. These types of reports highlight some interesting market information. Of note, 2014 generated more than the previous two years combined, primarily as a result of the Oakridge Centre rezoning approval.

Here are few highlights:

  • In 2014, there were 50 approvals of additional density resulting in a net increase in floor area of 6,500,000 SF and total public benefit in the amount of $234 Million.
  • The rezoning of Oakridge Centre in May 2014 represents 60% of the density and CACs generated
  • 80% of the public benefits are provided as on-site contributions, and 20% were cash in-lieu
  • 95% of additional density approvals aligned with recently approved community plans
  • The heritage density bank has been drawn down to 800,000 SF, a 50% decrease since the creation of new heritage transfer density was put on hold in 2009
  • There were 14 approvals for secured market rental housing in 2014, or 1,073 apartment units

CAC report_2015 CAC report_2015_1CAC report_2015_3CAC report_2015_4

For those interested, the report provides a full list of all rezoning applications approved by Council in 2014 that generated additional density and public benefits.

26-storey Tower Proposed for Cambie and Smithe Corner Site

A rezoning application has been made for a site at 225 Smithe Street, at the Northwest corner of Smithe and Cambie in Downtown Vancouver. The plan calls for rezoning from the existing DD (Downtown) District to CD-1 to allow a 26-storey residential above office mixed-use building that includes:

    • four levels of commercial space totaling 27,000 SF;
    • a  building height of 286.8 ft;
    • a density of 11.85 FSR;
    • 114 residential units; and
    • 178 underground parking space

This rezoning application is being considered under the Rezoning Policy for the Central Business District (CBD) and CBD Shoulder.

225 Smith_1 225 Smithe

The site was previously owned by James Schouw and envisioned for a luxury 28-unit condo building called ‘Thalia‘, but was later sold under foreclosure to Boffo Developments in 2011. The purchase price at that time was $11,600,000.