West End topics at City Hall this week: towers at 1550 Alberni, 1488 Robson, 1345 Davie, and more


1550 Alberni, 43-storey tower, public hearing October 20 (Thurs)


1345 Davie Street, two towers at 18 and 20 storeys, going to Urban Design Panel on October 19 (Wednesday)


1400 or 1488 Robson, two towers at 28 and 30 storeys, on current site of Empire Landmark Hotel, going to Urban Design Panel on October 19 (Wednesday)


1280 Burrard, commercial building at center, part of Burrard Place development, going to Urban Design Panel on October 19 (Wednesday)

(Updated) Heights are rising in and around the West End.

Westenders may want to note a few topics at City Hall this week. The Urban Design Panel on Oct 19 (Wednesday) has three items in or near the West End, and a public hearing on Oct 20 (Thursday) has a major tower proposed. If you are concerned about any of these we encourage you to communicate your concerns to the meeting indicated.

Also, for Regular Council on October 18, Mayor Robertson is proposing that Councillors Tim Stevenson and Adriane Carr be the “Neighbourhood Liaison Councillors” for the West End.

Now, the public Hearing….

On the agenda for the Public Hearing (Oct 20 Thurs), note item #5:

  • REZONING: 1550 Alberni Street (43-storey market residential tower with commercial at grade, height of 132.35 m or 434 ft, FSR 14.15). Information on this project is located at the link below:
    http://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/1550alberni/index.htmThe density for this project at 14.15 FSR (Floor Space Ratio) is very large – approximately triple that of early projects in the Downtown South area, and exceeding almost all existing sites in the West End – but is representative of the type of density likely to arise through future rezoning applications in the West End.

And the day before that, on the agenda for the Urban Design Panel (Oct 19 Wed), note items #2, #3 and #4:

  • 1400/1488 Robson Street (currently the Empire Landmark Hotel, to be demolished, replaced by two towers, one 28 and one 30 storeys, in the West End, between Broughton and Nicola Streets). More information for this project is located here:
  • 1345 Davie Street (two residential towers at 18 and 20 storeys, containing 153 dwelling units, West End, between Jervis and Broughton). More information:
  • 1290 Burrard Street (Burrard Place – which already has a 54-storey tower planned — this application is for a 13-storey commercial building, downtown area). (This is technically just across the street from the West End.). More information (though listed for some reason as 1280 Burrard):

Note: Credits for the graphics above go to the respective developers, via the Changing City Updates blog (https://changingcitybook.com/).


The projects at 1400 Robson Street and 1345 Davie Street each involve re-development of existing sites in the West End. Development of this type was “pre-zoned” with the adoption of the West End Community plan, and no consideration by City Council, or public hearing, is required for these projects – only consideration by the Development Permit Board. Continue reading

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1345 Davie Street to see 18 & 19-storey towers: DPB decision Dec 12

1345-davie-vanmap-location1345 Davie Street is subject to an application to build two new residential towers, 18 and 19 storeys high.

This we have learned from the schedule of the “Development Permit Board” for December 12, 2016. At this moment (Sept 22), only limited information about the application has been made public, and no information about the application is posted on the City’s “Development Applications” web page.

It would replace a four storey rental building built in 1979, and possibly a 1950s 3-storey building next door. The remainder of the block is also being redeveloped with “The Jervis” (condo and non-market rental tower). The location is between Broughton and Jervis on the north side of Davie Street.

This is another outcome of mass rezoning of sections of our community shortly after the West End Community Plan was adopted by City Council in 2013. As we have seen with other major tower developments since then, the application will go straight to the City’s internal DPB. The public may address the DPB, but there is no public hearing, no chance to address elected officials.

Here is information from the DPB listing of upcoming meetings.
Address: 1345 Davie Street
Application no: DP-2016-00373
Applicant: Marcon Project (457) Ltd.
Description: To develop the site with two new 18 and 19-storey residential towers containing 153 market dwelling units [this means condos], with a 3 and 4-storey podium containing 68 social housing units with a total FSR of 6.55, over three levels of below grade parking containing 257 parking spaces accessed from the lane.
Contact: Wendy LeBreton 604.871.6796
DPB date: December 12, 2016

WEN has done a bit of extra research and found this, going back to February 2016…

1345 Davie Street (Berkeley Place – just west of the new “Jervis” building) sold in 2015 for $24 million. There was an “offering for investment interest” (download PDF from British Columbia Securities Commission) from Marcon and McAllister Properties dated December 1, 2015. Continue reading

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West End’s 42-storey Empire Landmark Hotel to be demolished, two towers built (28 & 30 storeys)

entrance-credit-empire-landmark-hotelTwo towers (28 and 30 storeys) are being proposed to take the place of what is now the 42-storey Empire Landmark Hotel at 1400 Robson Street.

This is another outcome of mass rezoning of sections of our community (lower Davie and lower Robson) shortly after the West End Community Plan was adopted by City Council in 2013. The application goes straight to the City’s internal “Development Permit Board” for approval. The public may address the DPB, but there is no public hearing, no chance to address elected officials.

Here is information from the DPB listing of upcoming meetings.
Address: 1400 Robson Street
Application no: DP-2016-00376
Applicant: Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership
Description: To develop the site with a 28 and 30 storey mixed use building that includes 280 dwelling units (223 market/57 social housing), retail use on ground floor, and office use on the second floor all over four levels of underground parking accessed from the lane. There is also a 10% heritage density transfer.
Contact: Lisa King 604.873.7642
DPB date: December 12, 2016

Here are some extra points from the Daily Hive story (Kenneth Chan writing for Daily Hive broke the news yesterday with “42-storey Empire Landmark Hotel in downtown Vancouver to be demolished.”): Continue reading

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Open House for proposed 1500 West Georgia 43-storey tower (Bosa/Kingswood): Sept 29 (Thurs)

1500-west-georgia-building-renderings-sept-2016Open House organized by City of Vancouver
When: 5 to 8 pm, September 29, 2016 (Thursday)
Where: Empire Landmark Hotel (1400 Robson Street)
Note: Applicant team and City staff will be available to answer questions.
Developer: Bosa Properties and Kingswood Properties

Provide comments by filling out online feedback form. Comments will be accepted up to the Public Hearing date (not yet schedule as of Sept 22), but you are encouraged to provide your comments by October 30, 2016 to allow staff to consider if any changes need to be made to the proposal and to represent your comments in the report to Council.

This is another outcome of mass rezoning of sections of our community shortly after the West End Community Plan was adopted by City Council in 2013.

This is an application to rezone 1500 West Georgia Street from Downtown (DD) District to Comprehensive Development (CD-1) District to allow for a 43-storey residential development adjacent to the existing office building. The proposal includes:

  • 217 market residential units with 26,242 m2 (282,452 sq.ft.) of new floor area;
  • a floor space ratio of 11.47 and a total floor area of 46,121 m2 (496,452 sq.ft.) across the entire site (including the existing office building);
  • a restaurant at the corner of Georgia and Nicola streets; and
  • seven levels of underground parking.

This rezoning is being considered under the Rezoning Policy for the West End. Is this proposal consistent with the West End Community Plan? Compare: http://www.vancouver.ca/westend


Official rezoning information – Rezoning Application – 1500 West Georgia Street
Continue reading

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Redevelopment of 1661 Davie Street: Safeway site to get 21 & 23 storey towers, but not fulfilling Community Plan objectives? DPB board decision July 25 (Mon)

DE419982 at 1661 Davie, FIG1

21 and 23 storey towers proposed for Safeway site at 1661 Davie Street

(Update: The DPB approved this application on July 25, with many conditions imposed. We will follow up with a post when details are made public.)

The redevelopment of the Safeway site at 1661 Davie Street (and Cardero) with a new Safeway and two towers goes before the Development Permit Board for final approval on July 25, 2016.

Development Permit Board
Regarding 1661 DAVIE STREET (DE419982) ZONE C-5A

Monday, July 25, 2016, starting at 3:00 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting Room, City Hall
Applicants:  Henriquez Partners Architects, Westbank Project Corp, and Crombie REIT
Link: http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/development-permit-board.aspx

This may be the largest development application going through the approval process since the West End Community Plan was adopted in November 2013, and for that reason, deserves close scrutiny. Does it comply with the Community Plan? And is the entire review process respectful of residents and the community? We see some problems, and they are worth noting not only for the West End but for all neighbourhoods in the City, especially those now in planning processes.

West End Neighbours has analyzed the application, comparing the promises of the West End Community Plan with the details proposed by the applicants:

Redevelopment of 1661 Davie Street (existing Safeway site): Does it fulfill Community Plan objectives? (West End Neighbours, 1-May-2016)

Our analysis shows concerns and gaps between the application and West End Community Plan, in terms of…

  1. Site Layout
  2. Size of Floorplates
  3. Streetscape and Building Finishes
  4. Lane Frontage
  5. Shadowing
  6. Public Realm
  7. Parking
  8. Construction Management

The application diverges from the West End Plan in several important ways, but the DPB has the power to put things on track — they can reject or approve the application, or require changes. Public input is important.

To provide your input to the Development Permit Board, you can speak in person, or write to the  Meeting Coordinator (lidia.mcleod@vancouver.ca) requesting the message to be distributed.  You may also wish to share comments with City Council on the broader issue of change in the West End (mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca). Continue reading

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Resident critiques City’s bulletin on new West End parking policy recommendations after public outcry

CoV west-end-parking-strategy-landing message(Updated) A twenty-five year resident of the West End, Paul Juzkow (PJ), has shared his analysis and observations of a bulletin issued by the City of Vancouver today (July 14) regarding West End parking policy recommendations.

We copy the City’s bulletin below, with his comments interspersed in red italics. The City’s statement is in response to a media and public outcry about the recommendations, which will be reviewed along with public input in the fall of 2016.

Mr. Juzkow was interviewed on CBC on July 19, 2016, starting at about 2:20 into this broadcast.

As a background please see our previous post regarding consultation currently underway by the City of Vancouver to address the tight parking in the West End:
West End parking driving you crazy? Answer new survey by City of Vancouver (West End Neighbours, 12-July-2016)

Besides direct responses to the City’s bulletin contents, Paul offers additional comments about topics not covered in the bulletin. We are sharing Paul’s observations to promote pubic dialogue of the issues, and further input back to City Hall.

People in other neighbourhoods are wondering if the City would try to roll out these policies elsewhere in the Vancouver in the future. West End Neighbours supports full public awareness and dialogue, to produce the best outcome. Let the City know your thoughts by taking the online survey until August 15, 2016, at this official link (www.vancouver.ca/westendparking). You may also wish to communicate with your elected officials (see how here). Also, Open Houses are planned Tuesday, July 19, 4:00pm – 8:00pm, and Saturday, July 23, 10:00am – 2:00pm. See City website for details.




From: City of Vancouver Communications Office
Date: Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 10:07 AM
Subject: Information Bulletin: Clarification of West End parking recommendations

City of Vancouver
Information Bulletin
July 14, 2016 Continue reading

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West End parking driving you crazy? Answer new survey by City of Vancouver

CoV west-end-parking-strategy-landing message

Image credit: City of Vancouver

(Updated) The City of Vancouver conducted a survey in November 2015, which we introduced previously (click here). Now the City is at the next stage, with nine recommendations, some of which could significantly affect your cost of living, convenience, and quality of life in the West End, as well as the experience the many visitors have when they come here. Some proposals will affect your pocketbook. Below is an excerpt of some of the introductory material from the City, plus text of the survey, with some of our comments interspersed), and media coverage links. (At the bottom we have added some comments from 25-year local resident Paul Juzkow. Among other things, he believes other neighbourhoods might find that similar 700% increases are going to be proposed for them too.)

We encourage West End residents to study the options, take the survey, attend the open houses and provide their feedback to the City. Decisions will be made by City Council in the fall of 2016, and implementation will start in 2017.

Online survey (deadline August 15, 2016)
vancouver.ca/westendparking (link to info and the survey)

Open houses (City staff will be present) 

  • Tuesday, July 19, 4 pm – 8 pm, West End Community Centre, 870 Denman St
  • Saturday, July 23, 10 am – 2 pm, Nelson Park, 1030 Bute St (next to farmers market)

In the City’s words:

Parking in the West End is difficult today.  It’s hard to find parking in the West End resident parking permit zone whether you live there or visit someone who does. To find parking during busy periods, it takes:
Residents about 5 minutes and over 1 km of extra driving
Visitors about 10 minutes and almost 3 km of extra driving
Our goal is to make it easier to find parking in the West End permit zone without encouraging more driving overall. The strategy responds to community-identified concerns and supports actions in the Transportation 2040 Plan and West End Community Plan.

West End Neighbours reminds people that scores of new towers and about 10,000 new residents (i.e., higher density) are set to arrive in the West End in next several years under the West End Community Plan adopted by Council in 2013 — towers 20, 30, 40 and up to 60 storeys high. The thousands of new residents will bring more traffic. Also, be prepared for construction-related disruptions and noise.


City looks to jack up parking prices in the West End: Heavy price tags for street parking in West End neighborhoods would alleviate traffic, city says (By Jon Hernandez, CBC News, JulY 11, 2016)


Here below is the text of the survey, with some comments by WEN (food for thought) in italics. Please excuse the lack of formatting.
Continue reading

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Two applications affecting Coast Plaza Hotel: Open House July 26 (Tues)

Coast Plaza Hotel, credit the hotel

Coast Plaza Hotel, Vancouver’s West End. Credit: Coast Plaza Hotel

Open House for public input:
5 to 8 pm on Tuesday, July 26, 2016
West End Community Centre (Bidwell Room)
870 Denman Street

In 2011, the City of Vancouver approved a rezoning of the Coast Plaza Hotel (on Denman Street between Nelson and Comox Streets) to convert it from hotel to rental apartment. The previous rezoning application information is here:

 The Council report for that in February 2011 is here:

And here is the submission from West End Neighbours at the time, over five years ago:

Now, two new applications have now been made on this property.  One is a new rezoning application to allow for a “boutique hotel” in the area that was previously intended to become office:

The second is a development permit application to implement exterior changes to the building to accommodate the boutique hotel use and the rental apartment use:

Our comment is that it will be interesting to see if a Community Amenity Contribution will apply on the change in use from office to hotel, and also whether the City is planning to do anything to address some of the what some might consider to be less-than-attractive “edges” of this building — particularly along the Nelson Street frontage.  The rezoning proposal might provide a good opportunity for a discussion on possible improvements.

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42 storey rental tower proposal 1640-1650 Alberni Street – Open House June 13, 2016 (Mon). Hollyburn Properties

Hollyburn Properties image 1640-1650 Alberni, June 2016.pngThe City of Vancouver has sent out a notice that Hollyburn Properties intends to apply for a rezoning of 1640-1650 Alberni Street to construct a 42-storey market rental building. This is a pre-application open house where the developer shares preliminary plans and receives feedback from the public.

Date: Monday, June 13, 2016
Time: 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Place: 1400 Robson Street, Empire Landmark Hotel (Crystal Ballroom)

For more information, please contact Curranne Labercane
Brook Pooni Associates
e. clabercane@brookpooni.com
t. 604.731.9053 x 106

Note: This is not a City of Vancouver event. If a rezoning application is subsequently submitted to the City, there will be an official City-led public consultation process including a City-hosted open house with a detailed description of the application complete with scale model.

Information directly from Hollyburn Properties website follows, copied verbatim here for your convenience. Continue reading

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Update on 22-storey tower at 1155 Thurlow (Central Presbyterian)

1155-thurlow-render-4, from Changingcitybook.jpgThe Changing City Updates blog curated by Andy Coupland and John Atkin carries a recent update of information on the 22-storey tower now under construction on a site adjacent to Mole Hill, at 1155 Thurlow Street.

It appears completion is expected in 2018.

For more details, please visit this page:

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