24-Storey Office Tower Planned for Budget Site

Westbank‘s rezoning application for the Budget Car Rental site at 400 West Georgia Street has been submitted to the City. The site is located at the corner of West Georgia and Homer Street, across from the Central Library Branch. The letter of intent submitted by Westbank, suggests that the building will be built “on spec”.

The plan for the 20,992 SF (175′ x 120′) site calls for rezoning from Downtown (DD) District to Comprehensive Development (CD-1) District to allow for a 24-storey office building. The proposal includes:

  • 350,000 SF of office space;
  • 5,775 SF of retail space;
  • a building height of 301 ft.;
  • a total density 17.51 FSR;
  • steel construction;
  • six levels of underground parking; and
  • 125 bicycle parking spaces.

400 W Georgia400 W Georgia_5 400 W Georgia_4 400 W Georgia_3 400 W Georgia_2 400 W Georgia_1Design features will include triple-paned curtain wall, openable windows, large spans of column free space, glass floors. It will also incorporate a 4-storey high lobby.

The application describes the design rationale:

“The building is conceived as a cluster of white cubes that are bound by lush gardens. Pristine boxes project outward from the crevices filled with thick vegetation. The greenery is as expressive as the geometry is abstract. Together they merge into a staggered silhouette that is neither a tower nor warehouse, but a 3-dimensional campus.”
“The proposed building will be utilizing a concrete core with structural steel beams and steel decking c/w concrete topping. The steel construction seemed better suited to the architectural design and provides the desirable aesthetic of seeing the buildings structure visible through the transparent exterior glazing. The “truss” elements are cantilevering from 6 large column supports extending up through the entire building resulting in large open / column free interior spaces allowing flexible internal office planning configurations.”
This rezoning application is being considered under the Rezoning Policy for the Central Business District (CBD) and CBD Shoulder.

The architect for the project is Merrick Architecture.

Construction Update: Vancouver House

Construction continues to progress at Vancouver House, one of the more watched construction sites in the City of Vancouver, if only for its unique design. The building is now above the bridge level. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2019.

56fda0a783daf37d8655020533000337photo courtesy mcminsen http://po.st/tfp1og via @imageshack

1c7c2189bf9538eec766565515cb5fc9photo courtesy mcminsen http://po.st/DsuFXn via @imageshack

1f391e9cae950209363a466a22016e63photo courtesy mcminsen http://po.st/2CzaHU via @imageshack

94b0901824e0231c33164b03aacb36d4photo courtesy mcminsen http://po.st/3h34VL via @imageshack

Broadway & Alma Site Slated for Rental Development

Westbank Corp. has filed their rezoning application for the 23,234 SF site at the Northwest corner of Broadway and Alma Street. The site at 3701-3743 West Broadway is currently zoned C-2 and is currently improved with an old strip retail property.

The rezoning proposal is for a 6-storey mixed-use project, which includes:

    • 94 secured market rental units;
    • 59 studios, 1 one-bedroom, 33 two-bedrooms, 1 three-bedroom
    • 7,190 SF of retail space
    • A total density of 3.15 FSR;
    • A building height of 64 ft.; and
    • 99 parking spaces.

3701 West Broadway3701 West Broadway_13701 West Broadway_23701 West Broadway_3This application is being considered under the Affordable Housing Choices Interim Rezoning Policy. The architect for this project is Henriquez Partners.

The site was acquired by Westbank in 2011 for $9,443,000 or $121 per buildable SF based upon the current rezoning application.

Construction Update: Vancouver House

Here is the latest view of the construction site for Vancouver House, the 515 foot 52-storey condo tower being developed by Westbank.

After initially clearing the site began in December 2014, the construction is now almost at ground level.

Photos taken October 7, 2016:

d11f5ebe34b3ec632dea4a7fdda7f530courtesy mcminsen http://po.st/L8GQJ9 via @imageshack

c56774d20a1271bf0e36a593752ab0f3courtesy mcminsen http://po.st/zwhLhc via @imageshack

fd30f4dc743e62b2877201b7360a062bcourtesy mcminsen http://po.st/L2azqe via @imageshack

0fe6aaed9d77d7db8c761edaa40293eacourtesy mcminsen http://po.st/sbiKSr via @imageshack

Oakridge Centre Rezoning to be Revised

Later this week, the City of Vancouver council will consider a report recommending a revised rezoning application for the 28 acre Oakridge Centre site, being jointly developed by Westbank Projects and Ivanhoe Cambridge.

The project was originally introduced back in 2012, and was approved for rezoning over two years ago, to include 11 residential towers and over 4.6 Million SF of total building area including commercial. As was reported in the summer of 2015, the project faced a number of challenges since the rezoning approval, including:

  • technical complications of constructing lower parking levels due to an aquifer
  • accommodating continuous operation of the shopping mall during construction
  • the need to maintain The Bay store in its current location due to lease requirements

The new rezoning proposal is summarized as “shedding 20% of the total density and delivering all of the public benefits from the previous application”. The letter of inquiry from Ivanhoe and Westbank outlines the following proposed changes to the project under a revised application:

  • an overall reduction in the amount of new residential and commercial
    density (approx. 20%)
  • larger park area at-grade
  • maintaining the mall at one level with new mall space to be added at grade,
  • keeping The Bay store in its current location,
  • reconfiguration of the underground parking to avoid the existing aquifer,
  • a Civic Centre and park at grade with further rooftop park and open space,
  • comparable community amenities including affordable housing, and
  •  building heights similar to the 2014 rezoning, but two fewer towers
  • project construction in 6 years instead of 8 years

The new rezoning application will require a new negotiation on public benefits, and will require a full rezoning process with new public consultation. The total cost of the new application is $1.5M, which will be covered by the proponent.

Westbank Planning 214 Rental Units for Gastown Site

Westbank Projects has applied to the City of Vancouver for permission to develop a site at 33 West Cordova with a 11-storey mixed-use building.The plan, which involves a deal between Ian Gillespie, the Portland Housing Society and BC Housing, was first announced a year ago.

33 W Cordova_2

The proposal for the 19,071 SF site that also fronts onto Blood Alley includes the following:

  • 214 rental apartments (80 social housing units /134 secured market rental units);
  • commercial uses on the ground floor and cabaret underground;
  • 163,482 SF of gross floor area;
  • total density of 8.57 FSR
  • building height of 110 ft.;
  • 267 bicycle parking spots.

Under the site’s existing HA-2 zoning, the application is “conditional” so it may be permitted; however, it requires the decision of the Development Permit Board.  33 W Cordova33 W Cordova_1

The architect for the project is Henriquez Partners Architects. In the application, Henriquez explains the design rationale:

“The Blood Alley project at 33 West Cordova Street will make a significant contribution to the life of Gastown by retaining its heritage facade, providing affordable housing options, reinforcing an active street life through retail, food and performance opportunities, and provide a backdrop for the new Blood Alley Square renovation.”

Details Emerge for Westbank/First Baptist Church Redevelopment

After holding preliminary open houses late last year to unveil the First Baptist Church redevelopment to the public and the media, Westbank has now submitted their formal rezoning application for the Bing Thom designed project at 969 Burrard St. & 1019-1045 Nelson Street. The specific details of the project have now been finalized for rezoning application purposes.

Major details of the proposal includes:

    • restoration of First Baptist Church;
    • new church ancillary spaces, including a 37-space child daycare, a gymnasium, a counselling centre and offices;
    • a new 8-storey building containing 66 social housing units, owned by the church;
    • a new 56-storey tower containing 294 market strata residential units;
    • a combined total new floor area of 559,925 SF.
    •  a total density of 10.79 FSR;
    • 497 underground vehicle parking spaces.

This rezoning application is being considered under the Rezoning Policy for the West End and the West End Community Plan.

969 Burrard 969 Burrard_1 969 Burrard_2 969 Burrard_3 969 Burrard_5As the building sits at an elevation of 167 ft above sea level, it will appear as one of the tallest buildings on the Downtown skyline, only slightly shorter than Shangri-la and Trump Tower.

969 Burrard_4Further detail on the rezoning application can be found here: http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/rezoning/applications/969burrard/index.htm