1488 Robson Street – DP-2016-00376: 31-storey and 32-storey towers go to DPB on June 12

 

1400-or-1488-robson-changingcitybook

Image from Changing City Book as of 23-Sept-2016 

Big Changes are “in store” along Robson Street, all enabled by the West End Community Plan.

Across the street from a 21-storey tower proposed at 1500 Robson, these two depicted here are proposed for 1488 Robson Street (also sometimes referred to as 1400 Robson), the current site of the Empire Landmark Building, which is set for demolition.

Approval is set for the Development Permit Board on June 12, 2017. It appears the height has been reduced for the DPB review. Note that due to the 2012 West End Community Plan and subsequent “pre-zoning,” there is no public hearing on this tower. It goes straight to the DPB.

http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/committees/current-development-applications-development-permit-board.pdf

1488 Robson Street
DP-2016-00376
MCM Partnership
To develop the site with 28 and 30 storey residential towers, over a 3-4 storey podium and including retail at grade and offices on the 2nd level (fronting Robson St); and 3 – 7 levels of social housing units, all over 3 & 4 level parkade accessed off of the rear lane. Also includes a 10% heritage density transfer.
Lisa King 604.873.7642 June 12, 2017

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Open House for 21-storey tower at 1500 Robson Street (Wed, May 3, 2017) DP-2017-00304

1500-robson from changingcitybook 5-Apr-2017.jpg

Robson facade of proposed tower, as of 5-Apr-2017. Credit: Changing City Book.

Proposal for a 21 storey mixed-use building
127 secured market rental units
Scheduled for the Development Permit Board on July 10.

Community open house:
Wednesday, May 3, 5 pm – 8 pm
Empire Landmark Hotel, 1400 Robson St, The Crystal Ballroom West

According to the Changing City Book blog, this rental tower is for the corner of Robson and Nicola; (Robson façade). As of early April, two small buildings were proposed with only 12 rental units. GWL Advisers are proposing a 21 storey mixed-use building with retail on the street and 127 rental units above, with 42 two or three bedroom units. “This IBI Group designed tower is planned across Nicola Street from the two towers that would replace the Empire Landmark Hotel – although those are proposed as market rather than rental units.” Continue reading

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West End Community Plan Update (City of Vancouver)

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Image released at time West End Community Plan adopted in 2012.

Below is the West End Community Plan Update (April 20, 2017), which the City releases from time to time. For people who have not subscribed to the City’s official e-mail list we provide the text here.

 

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Here’s our latest newsletter to keep you informed about the implementation of the West End Community Plan, future events, and other important updates.

Development Applications

1345 Davie Street

  • This proposal was approved at the Development Permit Board meeting on March 20.

1488 Robson Street

  • Proposal for a 31 and 32 storey mixed-use building
  • 63 social housing units and 237 market units
  • Scheduled for the Development Permit Board on June 12.

1500 Robson St

  • Proposal for a 21 storey mixed-use building
  • 127 secured market rental units
  • Scheduled for the Development Permit Board on July 10.
  • A community open house will be held with the applicant team and City staff available to answer questions.
        Wednesday, May 3, 5 pm – 8 pm
    Empire Landmark Hotel
    1400 Robson St
    The Crystal Ballroom West
    For more information go to vancouver.ca/devapps or call 3-1-1 and provide the operator with the address.

Rezoning applications

1445-1455 West Georgia Street

  • Proposal for a 46 storey residential building
  • 128 market units
  • A community open house will be held with the applicant team and City staff available to answer questions.

Monday, May 1, 5 pm – 8 pm
Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel
1128 West Hastings Street
Pinnacle 1 Function Room
Note: This application is outside the West End Plan area
For more information go to vancouver.ca/rezapps or call 3-1-1 and provide the operator with the address.

Our Public Spaces
Downtown Places and Spaces Strategy

  • On March 29, Council approved the work program for a Downtown Places and Spaces Strategy, which will provide a strategic framework to shape a vibrant public space network and coordinate public space delivery in the downtown.
  • We will be looking for your feedback and long term vision for public spaces at a variety of events this summer.
  • Stay tuned for more information. This will be your chance to share your hopes, dreams, and vision for Downtown Vancouver’s public spaces!

Jim Deva Plaza Event Sponsorship Program

  • Have a great idea for an event in Jim Deva Plaza? Does your organization need financial assistance?
  • Apply for event sponsorship and make your idea happen! Deadline is April 30, 2017.
    Visit westendbia.com for more information

Jim Deva Plaza Neighbourhood Block Party

  • Come join your neighbours at Jim Deva Plaza on Saturday April 29th, 2017, from 12 to 4 pm
  • There will be a free BBQ and family activities
  • See westendbia.com for more details

Warm Regards,

West End Planning Team

ABOUT THE WEST END COMMUNITY PLAN

In November 2013, City Council approved the West End Community Plan. The plan provides long-range guidance on a variety of issues – including housing, transportation, parks and public space, social infrastructure, arts, culture, heritage and more. The new plan replaces the older West End Commercial Policy Plan (1986) and West End Residential Areas Policy Plan (1987).

For information on the plan, on-going implementation work, or upcoming events and opportunities for public involvement, please stay in touch via the following means:

Web & List-serv sign-up: vancouver.ca/westendplan
Email: westendplan@vancouver.ca
Twitter: @westendplan
Telephone: 3-1-1

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12th Annual Art Exhibit “Art In The City” this weekend at West End Community Centre

Art In The City 2017, West EndThe West End Community Centre will be holding its 12th Annual Art Exhibit – “Art In The City” this coming weekend at the Community Centre on Denman Street.

There will be works of 50 visual artists from the Lower Mainland.

Friday, May 5th is the opening reception from 7 to 9 PM

The exhibit continues noon to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday (May 6th and 7th).

The exhibit will be augmented by painting demonstrations and the chance to give it a try yourself, sketching opportunities, clay animation demonstrations and children’s participatory opportunities.

Enjoy music outside on the front plaza and the opportunity to enter prize draws.

As for the current forecast, the sun is supposed to shine, so come for a walk in the West End , the blossoms are finally out and at their peak!

Drop by Art In The City and say Hello. Continue reading

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1345 Davie Street (plus 1385 Davie/1180 Broughton): Development Permit Board, March 20 (Mon) – Demolition of existing rental housing, construction of 18 and 19 storeys (DP-2016-00373)

1345-davie-render-1-changingcitybook

The City of Vancouver’s Development Permit Board (internal 4-person decision-making body: Andrea Law, Gil Kelley, Jerry Dobrovolny, and Paul Mochrie) will review and approve a proposal for two towers (18 and 19 storeys)  at 1345 Davie Street (project includes 1385 Davie/1180 Broughton). The existing 68 rental units on the site are proposed to be replaced with 68 social housing units which will be deeded to the City. The project involves demolition of both buildings currently on these sites and occupied by renters. See below regarding Tenant Relocation Plan. A reporter has reached out seeking current or previous renters in these buildings. If you are interested in being connected, please write info@westendneighbours.ca.

The meeting is open to the public, and citizens may attend to speak to the DPB.

DATE: Monday, March 20, 2017
TIME: 3:00 p.m.
PLACE: Town Hall Meeting Room, Vancouver City Hall

Development Permit Board agenda (see March 20, 2017), and links to three detailed staff reports, including their responses to public feedback received:
http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/development-permit-board.aspx

More documents related to the application:
http://development.vancouver.ca/1345davie/index.htm

Along with large tracts of the neighbourhood, development of this type was “pre-zoned” with the adoption of the West End Community plan (Nov 2013) and related zoning bylaw (Jan 2014). That’s why this goes straight to the DPB, with no Public Hearing or consideration by City Council.

1345 Davie is technically a strata building (Strata VAS605) but we believe that it has always been operated as rental building since it was built. (The assessed value of each individual unit is published by BC Assessment.) Meanwhile, 1385 Davie/1180 Broughton is currently a rental building. Both are slated for demolition.

The proposal includes:

• 153 market residential [this would mean strata condos] and 68 social housing units
• Building heights of approximately 53 m and 48 m
• Gross floor area of 21,584 m2
• 4 levels of underground parking (257 spaces) accessed from rear lane.

1345 Davie application DP-2016-00373 App view height

Some special designing was needed to avoid intruding into View Cone 20.

Continue reading

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Longterm renters at 1565 Harwood fight 16% to 43% increases: Press conference Mar 12 (Sun) 11 am

1565 Harwood, credit GoogleMost of the residents in this two-story walk-up apartment building in the West End have been issued a notice to have rents increased by 16% to 43%.

(UPDATED. We are adding  media coverage/links at bottom.)

MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert (@SChandraHerbert, MLA for Vancouver – West End) hosted a press conference on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at 11 am at 1565 Harwood Street (between Nicola and Cardero). Residents are trying to keep their neighbourhood affordable. This case deserves everyone’s attention to see what systemic issues are going on here.

It appears the owner of the building (Immobiliere Canada Investment Ltd. No known website. Seems to be a mystery firm, with no public/web presence. Anyone with info, please write WEN.) applied to the Province of B.C. for a “geographic area rent increase” (under B.C.’s Residential Tenancy Act) beyond what would otherwise be the permitted cap, and may have been successful in arguing that rents in the neighbourhood had increased beyond those at this address. Is the dramatic increase in development since the 2013 adoption of the West End Community Plan resulting in increased land values and increased rents?

Some attention may be needed to review legislation, relating to short term lease contracts that some landlords are imposing even on long-term renters. Also, legislation 43 (1) (b), 43 (3) regarding “geographic area rent increase” needs some review.  Public involvement is crucial to make changes happen. This could be an important test case.

Chandra Herbert has introduced a Private Members Bills opposing such rent increases.

If landlords in other neighbourhoods start using the geographic clause to increase rents, could this problem spread beyond the West End? Stay tuned.

Media, links, and related resources:

Continue reading

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Gordon Neighbourhood House 75th Anniversary: Spring Forward 2017: A Fundraiser March 10 (Fri)

gordon-house-spring-forward-10-mar-2017Spring Forward 2017: A Fundraiser for Gordon Neighbourhood House
Gordon Neighbourhood House
Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory, BC
Friday, March 10, 2017, 7 – to pm

Tickets (by Brown Paper Tickets): http://bpt.me/2777757

Join us for Spring Forward, a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Gordon Neighbourhood House.

We invite you to self-select the price of your ticket ($25, $50* or $75**). All funds raised support the work of Gordon Neighbourhood House. Tickets will sell out! Get yours now before they’re all gone.

Spring Forward will feature live performances, a local DJ, and a silent auction with a wide range of amazing items for you to bid on. Continue reading

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Reminder: BC Hydro consulting West Enders on proposed “seed” underground substations: Deadline Feb 28 (Tues)

cutaway-drawing-of-bc-hydro-substation-proposalDeadline for early public feedback February 28 (Tuesday).

Further to our previous post (BC Hydro consulting West Enders on proposed “seed” underground substations: Feb 15, 16, 18, 20, 22) there has been a lot of media coverage and several meetings about building a power substation under , which you can search for online.

Here is something from the Park Board

Again, that link is: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bc-hydro-substation-proposal.aspx

Meanwhile, the “seed” team at BC Hydro has send out a reminder e-mail, an excerpt of which we copy below (some parts bolded for emphasis).

As you may be aware, from January 20 to February 28, 2017, we’re seeking your early feedback regarding our idea to deliver a secure, reliable, clean energy future for residents and businesses of downtown Vancouver, while funding significant community benefits for future generations. More information is available at bchydro.com/seed

Supplemental information now available.
We recognize that the construction of substations, schools, and park improvements would affect those who live, learn, work and play in these neigbourhoods. We’re studying what the impacts of seed may be, so that we can propose ways to avoid or minimize them. Continue reading

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Update on three Alberni-Georgia Corridor developments: Feb. 7, 2017

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Sketch of the Thurlow-Burrard (red hue, vertical) and Alberni-Georgia “corridors” (red, horizontal), from p22 of West End Community Plan (2013)

Below is a brief update on three selected developments in the “Alberni – Georgia corridor,” kindly compiled and submitted by a reader. The West End Community Plan was adopted by City Council in 2013.

1550 Alberni (October 20 2016) (readdressed as “1568 Alberni”)

  • This is a proposal for a 43-storey tower.
  • Following approval of the Revised Rezoning Application (Public Hearing October 20, 2016), a Development Application (DP-2016-00640) was submitted on November 18, 2016.
  • The official deadline (to be included in staff report) for public comments on the Development Application was January 27, 2017, but concerned residents can still send in their comments for consideration.

1500 West Georgia Street

  • This is a rezoning application for a 43-storey tower.
  • The Urban Design Panel (an advisory body for City Council) did not support the 1500 West Georgia project (October 5, 2016)
  • What’s next? Stay tuned.
  • You can provide comments on this rezoning application by filling out an online feedback form. The official deadline for comments was October 30, 2016, but comments will be accepted “up to the Public Hearing date.”

1640-1650 Alberni Street

  • This is a rezoning application for a 42-storey tower.
  • The Urban Design Panel supported this project (November 30, 2016).
  • What’s next? A Public Hearing. No date has been set (as of Feb 8, 2017) for Public Hearing for this application.
  • You can provide comments on this rezoning application by filling out an online feedback form. The official deadline for comments was January 2, 2017, but comments will be accepted “up to the Public Hearing date.”

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For reference, here is an excerpt from the West End Community Plan (2013). For more information about general policies for this Alberni-Georgia Cooridor, see the text starting on p43. Continue reading

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BC Hydro consulting West Enders on proposed “seed” underground substations: Feb 15, 16, 18, 20, 22

BC Hydro is sharing ideas on a proposal to construct new underground electrical power substations in the West End (Lord Roberts School Annex) and Yaletown and to renovate an existing substation under Cathedral Square downtown. BC Hydro is promoting possible public benefits, such as new schools. Some people have contact WEN asking about this proposal, saying that the media coverage is emphasizing the positive aspects, but what about other concerns? We haven’t developed a position on the proposal, but welcome input from readers. What issues have not yet been discussed publicly enough?

Key points for the West End: Hydro is suggesting it pay for a new school in Coal Harbour and move students from the Lord Roberts Annex there in 2020. The Lord Roberts Annex would be demolished, the property excavated, the underground substation built there and then a new school would be built on top. The estimated completion date is 2025. (Vancouver Sun)

BC Hydro is expecting to make decisions by late March, 2017.

There are many things to consider, and there has been considerable media coverage already (below we provide a few links and excerpts). For extensive information and to give feedback, please visit bchydro.com/seed.

The BC Hydro website contains detailed information (FAQ), a list of consultation events, and information about EMF (electric and magnetic fields), plus a link to provide feedback online. There are several opportunities to learn more and give feedback in person:

Open Houses: 

  • Saturday February 18, 10 am – 1 pm, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 1130 Jervis Street
  • Monday February 20, 5 pm – 8 pm, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 1130 Jervis Street
  • Wednesday February 22, 5 pm – 8 pm, Elise Roy Elementary School, 150 Drake Street

Roundtable Discussions: These will also be held (space is limited and registration is required). Email seed@bchydro.com to sign up for…

  • Wednesday February 15 (6 pm to 8 pm) or
  • Thursday February 16 (6 pm to 8 pm).

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MEDIA COVERAGE

B.C. Hydro lays plans for two new downtown Vancouver substations, deep underground (by Matt Robinson, Vancouver Sun, January 19, 2017)
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-hydro-lays-plans-for-two-new-downtown-vancouver-substations-deep-underground
Continue reading

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