Two towers (32 & 33 storeys) proposed at Thurlow and Harwood in West End (Bosa BlueSky Properties + Henriquez Partners Architects): Demoviction of 98 units expected


Thurlow Harwood tower concept Blue Sky Henriquez urbanYVR Jul2017

Two towers at 32 and 33 storeys are being considered, enabled by the West End Community Plan. Image: UrbanYVR

UrbanYVR and Changing City Updates have just reported on a proposal for two new towers likely to go forward to the approval process. A developer’s “pre-rezoning” open house was apparently held on July 19, 2017, but we are not aware of any prior public notification.

The location is on the east side of Thurlow Street, with two towers, one on the south side of Harwood Street and one on the north. The properties at 1065, 1066 and 1078 Harwood Street, as well as 1332 Thurlow Street, were all sold and assembled within the past two years. Existing buildings on the development site include rentals, so this development will result in “demovictions.”

City Council’s adoption of the West End Community Plan in November 2013 has unleashed a land rush. Less than four years have gone by, but the number and scale of projects coming forward by big-name developers has been astounding. Did the City make enough effort during the consultation process to help residents understand how the future would unfold in the neighbourhood? Are the objectives of protecting livability and “deepening” affordability being achieved?

Below are excerpts from both articles.

North tower: 33-storeys
– 61 market residential units
– 98 social housing units

South tower: 32-storeys
– 143 market residential units
– No social housing units in south tower

* 60 per cent of the market units suitable for families
* 50 per cent of social housing units suitable for families
* Range of unit sizes, from one bedrooms to two and three bedroom units

Changing City Updates says “While each project in this part of the West End is expected to provide 25% of the floorspace as non-market housing (given to the City of Vancouver as an airspace parcel), here the idea is that 25% of the total space is non-market, but in only one of the two towers….This would create 98 non-market rental units, (the same number in the existing market rental buildings on the sites) as well as 61 condos, while the second tower would have 143 condo units. The towers are similar in design, but not a matched pair, and are currently proposed at 32 and 33 storeys high. They’re designed, as many of the West End projects, by Henriquez Partners Architects.”

UrbanYVR reports that “as part of the land assembly, 1332 Thurlow and 1065 Harwood were sold for $24 million in 2015, according to 1078 Harwood was sold for $10.8 million, also in 2015.”

David Taylor of Colliers International writes that “I am pleased to have acted on behalf of the Buyer for 1332 Thurlow Street & 1065 Harwood Street. Collectively, these two walkup apartment buildings in the West End can be rezoned under the West End Community Plan to allow a condo and social housing tower up to 300 feet in height. The purchase price was $24,000,000.” He also writes “I am pleased to announce the sale of 1078 Harwood Street in the West End to Bosa Properties for $10,500,000.”

So the loss of rental housing appears to be 98 units, but after the residents are evicted, the buildings demolished, and new towers built, there will be 98 new units of “social housing,” albeit under the City of Vancouver’s weak definition. With a guess at 1.5 persons per unit, this application means life disruptions for at least 150 people. Will the “social housing” let them back in if they wish to come back, and how will the new rents compare to what they are paying today? This is worthy of some research.

The Bosa BlueSky and Henriquez towers being proposed appear to be very close to but different from a 32-storey tower at 1055 Harwood, which apparently is proposed by Strand/Intracorp. Details here.


Below are photos of the existing buildings in the Bosa BlueSky and Henriquez project.

1078 Harwood Google Street View 2015

1078 Harwood Google Street View 2015

1065 Harwood in center, Google Street View, July 2017

1065 Harwood in center, Google Street View, July 2017

1332 Thurlow Google Street View, July 2017

1332 Thurlow Google Street View, July 2017


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