32-Storey Tower Planned for West End Site

A partnership between Strand Development and Intracorp has submitted an application to rezone a site located at 1055 Harwood Street, between Thurlow and Burrard in the West End area of Downtown Vancouver.

The proposal is for a 32-storey residential building with:

  • 82 market residential units;
  • 68 two-bedrooms, 8 three-bedrooms and 6 four-bedrooms;
  • 44 social housing units;
  • a density of 10.35 FSR;
  • four levels of underground parking with 156 vehicle parking stalls;
  • 158 bicycle parking spaces; and
  • a building height of 300 ft.

1055 Harwood_51055 Harwood_4 1055 Harwood_2 1055 Harwood_3The RM-5A zoned site was redesignated under the West End Community Plan, adopted in 2014. Currently occupied by a lowrise coop, the site was acquired in August 2016 for $40.5 Million.

The application describes the design rationale:

“The overall form for the proposed building is one that is familiar to the West End. The tower, as proposed, is a 32-storey tower interlocked with a very small 6,300 square foot, seven storey (60’) base, thereafter tapering into a slender 5,500 square foot floorplate for the remainder of the building’s tower element.
The building has been designed as a “tower in the park” with the use of concrete and brick to create an articulated base transitioning into a slender tower with a simple concrete frame featuring expansive windows, spandrel glass and spacious balconies that are predominately inset into the building’s facade.”
The architect for the project is NSDA Architects.

Social Housing Plans Unveiled for 58 West Hastings Site

A rezoning application has been submitted for a site owned by the City of Vancouver at 58 West Hastings Street. This is the large (32,228 SF) vacant lot on the South side of Hastings between Abbott and Carrall Street.

Plans for social housing on the site were first unveiled by the City back in 2016 after many years of discussion and several lengthy periods of the site being occupied as a homeless camp.

The proposal is for a ten-story mixed-use building with:

  • Seven floors of housing, with 222 social housing units;
  • 54 two-bedroom units
  • Retail and Health Care Office uses on floors 1-3;
  • One level of underground parking;
  • A total density of 6.6 FSR; and
  • A building height of 105 feet.

58 W Hastings 58 W Hastings_1 58 W Hastings_2The proposal includes a healthcare clinic and medical and dental offices will occupy the rear portion of the ground floor, as well as the second and third floors. Residential rental social housing with self-contained apartment units are located on the upper floors.

This rezoning application is being considered under the Rezoning Policy for the Downtown Eastside and the Downtown Eastside Community Plan.

The architect for the project is W.T. Leung Architects.

Market Spotlight: Vancouver Housing Stats

The City of Vancouver will present their third annual Housing and Homelessness Strategy Report Card to council next week. The purpose of the annual report is to track progress of the City’s various initiatives under the Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2012-2021.

The report is an excellent source of some key housing indicators compiled from CMHC and REBGV, of which several are summarized here:

  • the City of Vancouver had 4,648 dwellings commence construction in 2014 (approximately 25% single family and 75% multi-family units). This rate is close to the 5-year annual average of 4,824.
  • Vacancy rates continued to decrease between 2013 and 2014, both in the city of
    Vancouver (from 1.0% to 0.5%) and regionally (from 1.7% to 1.0%) reflecting
    ongoing population growth and demand for housing
  • Between March 2014 and March 2015, the benchmark  price for a single family
    house increased by 14% on the eastside and 12% on the westside, while the
    benchmark price for condos fell by 1% on the eastside and increased by 5% on
    the westside.
  • 409 units of interim supportive housing were created in 2014 (395 Kingsway, 3475 E. Hastings, 1335 Howe and 1060 Howe)
  • 439 units of permanent supportive housing were created (1134 Burrard, 111 Princess, 2465 Fraser and 951 Boundary)
  • 3,783 secured market rental units have been approved during 2012-2014 (only 407 were actually completed in 2014)

CofV_Housing report_1 CofV_Housing report_2 CofV_Housing report_3

CofV_Housing report_4

Proposed West End Tower a First Under New Plan

A development application has been submitted under a new zone created by the West End Community Plan (“WECP”) which was adopted one year ago. This new RM-5D zone permits a density of 7.0 FSR and allows market residential if social housing is provided. The proposed development by Intracorp is for a 17,303 SF site at the Northwest corner of Davie Street at Jervis St.

This is the first sizable development application to be submitted under the WECP, and does not require rezoning since this area of Davie Village was rezoned by policy amendment as part of the WECP.

The tower component as proposed is intended to be market housing, while the podium is mostly comprised of affordable, city owned non-market housing, with a small commercial retail shop on the corner.The plan for this site calls for:

  • A 19-storey tower
  • 62 market residential units and 28 social housing units
  • 1 retail unit at grade
  • 114 underground parking stalls
  • A height of 190 ft.
  • Density of 6.61 FSR (114,372 SF)

1301 Davie 1301 Davie_2

Mixing in Social Housing with Market Housing Creating Issues in New York Similar to Vancouver

This article in the New York Times highlights some challenges in incorporating social housing in a higher-end market condo building. This is an issue that may become more prominent in Vancouver as the City tries to generate new social housing units by requiring social housing in new market developments; particularly in higher density areas like the West End.

‘Poor Door’ in New York Tower Opens Housing Fight

New York Times, August 27, 2014

A 33-story glassy tower rising on Manhattan’s waterfront will offer all the extras that a condo buyer paying up to $25 million would expect, like concierge service, entertainment rooms, and unobstructed views of the Hudson River and miles beyond.

The project will also cater to renters who make no more than about $50,000. They will not share the same perks, and they will also not share the same entrance.

 The so-called poor door has brought an outcry, with numerous officials now demanding an end to the strategy. But the question of how to best incorporate affordable units into projects built for the rich has become more relevant than ever as Mayor Bill de Blasio seeks the construction of 80,000 new affordable units over the next 10 years.

 The answer is not a simple one. As public housing becomes a crumbling relic of another era, American cities have grown more reliant on the private sector to build housing for the poor and working class. Developers say they can maximize their revenues, and thus build more affordable units, by separating them from their luxury counterparts.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/nyregion/separate-entryways-for-new-york-condo-buyers-and-renters-create-an-affordable-housing-dilemma.html