Westbank’s First Baptist Church project (56 storeys, at Burrard & Nelson) goes to UDP April 6 (Wed)

first-baptist-3-blog, from changingcitybookThe Urban Design Panel will review this proposal on April 6, 2016. Details from the meeting agenda are provided below. This is the first of four items on the agenda. The PDF document includes excerpts of the West End Plan and the relevant design guidelines.
http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/committees/agenda-urban-design-panel-20160406.PDF

Urban Design Panel. 
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: Town Hall Meeting Room, Vancouver City Hall
3:00 pm
1. 3:15 pm Address: 969 Burrard Street & 1019–1045 Nelson Street
(1.5 hours) DA: N/A
Description: The proposal includes restoration of First Baptist Church, new church ancillary spaces, including a 37-space child daycare, a gymnasium, a counselling centre, offices and a café, a new eight-storey building containing 66 social housing units, owned by the church, and a new 56-storey tower containing 294 market strata residential units with a floor space ratio (FSR) of 10.83.
Zoning: CD-1 (445) and RM-5B to CD-1 Revised
Application Status: Rezoning (Higher Building)
Review: First
Architect: Bing Thom Architects (Amirali Javidan)
Staff: Karen Hoese and Sailen Black

first-baptist-2, from changingcitybook

The meeting is open to the public, but may not speak. Upon request, an audio recording of the meeting is available to the public afterwards. The UDP is an advisory body to City Council. You can learn more about the UDP and rules  here. http://vancouver.ca/your-government/urban-design-panel.aspx

Westbank has a number of major projects on the go at the moment in the West End. A 43-storey tower at 1550 Alberni was at the UDP on Dec 2, 2015, supported 7 to 0 by voting UDP members. The 21-storey tower at 1754 Pendrell is another. Another one in the works is Davie Safeway, for 21 and 23 storeys.

One industry blog indicated that Gillespie had declared this First Baptist project a “done deal”already in January 2013, months before the West End Community Plan (WECP) became official. One wonders how he knew.

It appears that even while the residents of the West End were participating in good faith with City of Vancouver staff as input for the WECP, other staff were in detailed negotiations with developers like Westbank. The WECP was adopted by City Council in November 2013, ten months AFTER Gillespie called this project a “done deal.” See this quote:

… finally, there is a mind-blowing project at the first baptist church in the pipes, gillepsie showed us a couple images and the entire room gasped in awe and excitement. it’s a full church restoration and expansion with a bing thom-designed tower rising off the back portion of the site, a very special, narrow, pointed marina city-esque wonder that will become a city icon almost immediately. gillespie called it “a done deal.” Source: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=5973259#post5973259

From the West End Community Plan…

  1. Seven Built Form Guiding Principles
  2. Reinforce the Dome-Shaped Skyline
  3. Strengthen the Urban Frame
  4. Adhere to Prevailing View Corridors
  5. Recognize Transitional Role in Form and Scale
  6. Demonstrate Shadowing Performance
  7. Responsive Form to Private Views
  8. Ground Oriented Focus in Uses and Public Realm Quality

First Baptist Church rezoning location 969 Burrard, UDP, 6-Apr-2016

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