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

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

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

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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)

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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:
    http://development.vancouver.ca/1488robson/index.htm
  • 1345 Davie Street (two residential towers at 18 and 20 storeys, containing 153 dwelling units, West End, between Jervis and Broughton). More information:
    http://development.vancouver.ca/1345davie/index.htm
  • 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):
    http://development.vancouver.ca/1280burrard/index.htm

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

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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.

These projects represent significant change to the neighbourhood – in the case of 1400 Robson Street, the demolition of a very tall 1970s hotel tower that has been a “landmark” in the West End since its construction. For 1345 Davie Street, the proposal includes the demolition of two existing rental apartment complexes, each of which provide lower-priced rental housing in the West End. Residents are encouraged to provide their input to the City on these projects.

Regarding the 1400 Robson item and 1345 Davie items listed above, further below we provide excerpts from the City’s West End Community Plan Update of October 6 from City of Vancouver Planning Department Staff (subscribe to the City’s news at http://list.vancouver.ca/t/232067/177568/1136/34/). Note that for some reason the Robson project is listed differently, as 1488 Robson Street, and no mention was made in the notice to residents regarding the Urban Design Panel meeting, though it is an important step in the process.

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While we’re at it, here is a bit of information on another project, which we will cover again separately.

1176 Burnaby Street – Laneway Infill Project:

A laneway infill project is proceeding for the site at 1176 Burnaby Street – the City’s website on this project is at the link below:
http://development.vancouver.ca/1176burnaby/index.htm

Nearby neighbours have noted that notification of the project appears to be lacking, with a sign only being posted on the property after the City’s prescribed deadline for comments had passed. Here is a link to the notification postcard:
http://development.vancouver.ca/1176burnaby/documents/pcard.pdf

While the City’s site indicates that comments on the project will be received until September 20th, the City will typically receive comments until the Staff Report is produced. In this case, the staff report will go to the Development Permit Board. As much of the West End was rezoned in January 2014 just after adoption of the West End Community Plan, this project does not require consideration by City Council, so no public hearing will be held to allow the public to share their opinions with elected officials. Only consideration by the Development Permit Board is necessary, and residents can write or speak to the DPB.

Residents are encouraged to share their opinions with the City of Vancouver on this project.

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Excerpts from the City’s West End Community Plan Update of October 6 from City of Vancouver Planning Department Staff

1488 Robson Street

Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership has applied to the City of Vancouver for permission to develop this site (Empire Landmark Hotel) with a 28 and 30 storey mixed-use building. This proposal includes the following:

  • 223 market residential and 57 social housing units
  • Building height of 300 ft
  • Retail use on the ground floor and office use on the second and third floors
  • Floor area of 393,850 sq/ft
  • 4 levels of underground parking accessed from the lane

This application is scheduled for the Development Permit Board December 12. Attend a community open house with the applicant team and City staff available to answer questions:

Tuesday, October 11, 5 pm – 8 pm
The Listel Hotel – The Impressionist Gallery
1300 Robson Street

We welcome your written comments (letter or e-mail) on this development application. Comments should be received on, or before  November 4, 2016, to be considered in the staff review. However, written comments will be considered up until the date of decision. Visit the development application webpage for more information: http://development.vancouver.ca/1488robson/index.htm

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1345 Davie Street

Henriquez Partners Architects have applied to the City of Vancouver for permission to develop this site with two new 18 and 19 storey residential buildings, over a 3 and 4 storey podium. The proposal includes:

  • 153 market residential and 68 social housing units
  • Building heights of approximately 174 ft and 157 ft
  • Gross floor area of 232,328 sq/ft
  • 4 levels of underground parking accessed from the lane

This application is scheduled for the Development Permit Board on December 12. Attend a community open house with the applicant team and City staff available to answer questions:

Wednesday, October 12, 5 pm – 8 pm
The Coast Plaza Hotel
1763 Comox Street

We welcome your written comments (letter or e-mail) on this development application. Comments should be received on, or before  November 1, 2016, to be considered in the staff review.  However, written comments will be considered up until the date of decision. Visit the development application webpage for more information: http://development.vancouver.ca/1345davie/index.htm

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