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 Continue reading

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Two towers proposed for 1616 West Georgia (White Spot site, Shato Holdings) at 33 and 39 storeys

1616 West Georgia, Shato Holdings, White Spot site, July 2017

Two towers proposed by Shato Holdings, at 33 and 39 storeys. Image credit: Shato Holdings via UrbanYVR.

1616 West Georgia Street
Proposal for two market residential buildings
A developer-hosted open house to gather initial feedback will be held.
July 12, 2017, from 5 to 7:30 pm
Westin Bayshore Hotel (1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver)

As far as we know, further details were not made public prior to this open house. The only public notice of the open house as far as we know was the West End Community Plan update from the City of Vancouver, e-mailed just a few hours before the event.

Subsequently, we notice that the Changing City Updates blog carries an image showing these two towers, at 33 and 39 storeys. The short article indicates that Shato Holdings (owners of White Spot) is proposing two condo towers. They would have a three-storey podium and 350 condo units, 75% of them two bedrooms or larger.

Later, Peter Meiszner reports in UrbanYVR (July 14) “White Spot on West Georgia to be redeveloped into condo towers: Gateway to downtown Vancouver to be transformed through several new condominium proposals.” He also says that three-level townhomes will front onto Alberni Street, where the lobbies for both buildings will also be located, one-bedroom units will be approximately 502 sq ft., and two bedroom units between 855 and 1,342 sq ft. Architects are IBI Group and PWL Partnership.

Both article state that the proposal is made possible by the West End Community Plan.


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West End Community Plan Newsletter (COV)

Here is the plain text version of the City of Vancouver West End Planning Team Newsletter issued today.

For online info visit Note some upcoming important developments including an open house announced just today.

Continue reading

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32-storey tower Strand/Intracorp proposal for 1055 Harwood goes to UDP meeting July 12 (Wed)


32-storey tower proposed for 1055 Harwood. Image from

WEN has covered this project before (New rezoning proposal for 32 storey tower 1055 Harwood Street (at over 10 FSR): Open House June 26).

It will go to the Urban Design Meeting on Wednesday, July 12. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend as an observer. Often information is provided here that is not otherwise available to the public.

From the UDP agenda:

Urban Design Panel (UDP)
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Time: 03:00 pm
Place: Town Hall Meeting Room, Vancouver City Hall

03:15 pm Address: 1055 Harwood Street
Permit No.: RZ-2017-00024
Description: The proposal is to develop a 32-storey residential building with 82 market residential units and 44 social housing units; for a total floor area of 54,539 sq. m (178,974 sq. ft.) and density of 10.35 FSR; a height of 91.44 m (300 ft.); over four levels of underground parking accessed from the lane, with 156 vehicle parking stalls and 158 bicycle parking stalls.
Zoning: RM-5A to CD-1
Application Status: RZ
Review: First
Architect: NSDA Architects
Staff: Linda Gillan, Danielle Wiley

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First Baptist Church project (969 Burrard Street & 1019-1045 Nelson Street) with 57 storey tower: Public Hearing July 18 & 25 (Tues)

969 Burrard First Baptist Westbank, elevations, application 2017 rev

A 57-storey tower is proposed by Westbank to be built beside a restored First Baptist Church on Burrard

Outcome: City Council voted 7 vs 1 to approve this proposal during a Council meeting on July 26, 2017.

1st Baptist Westbank 57-storey tower votes 26-jul-2017 

On June 27, 2017, City Council referred this application to Public Hearing based on a staff report.

Public Hearing
Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 6 pm
Vancouver City Hall, Council Chambers

Official rezoning full information on the application:

Staff report and recommendation to Council (June 27), including Policy Report and Appendices: Click here and look for “969 Burrard.” “This report evaluates an application to amend CD-1 (445) for the site at 969 Burrard Street and 1019-1045 Nelson Street to permit a development which includes a 57-storey market residential tower, expanded program space for The First Baptist Church, a seven-storey social housing building, and seismic upgrading and interior restoration to the existing heritage church building.”

Anyone with comments about this application (support/opposed/other) can e-mail to Mayor and Council on record at, or request to speak.

Note: A group of local residents says they will meet in the church parking lot for a short exchange of information at 5 pm on Sunday, July 9 [note date correction]. Feel free to show up, or write for more information.

For earlier visual images and description of the project see Changing City Updates.

969 Burrard First Baptist Westbank, site plan 2017Key parameters of the project from March 10, 2016 application (from rezoning page, but note further changes below):

The City of Vancouver has received an application to rezone 969 Burrard Street & 1019-1045 Nelson Street from CD-1 (445) (Comprehensive Development) to a new CD-1 District. 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 cafe;
  • a new eight-storey building [revised to seven] containing 66 [revised to 61] social housing units, owned by the church;
  • a new 56-storey tower [revised to 57 storeys] containing 294 market strata [revised to 331] residential units, with a cafe at ground floor [cafe later removed];

Other key parameters of the proposal include:

  • a combined total new floor area of approximately 561,881 sq.ft. [Note: figure needs to be updated to reflect revised application]
  • a floor space ratio (FSR) of approximately 11.27 [Note: the rezoning web page indicates 10.83, but 11.27 appears to be the revised number. See below.]
  • 497 underground vehicle parking spaces [needs updating?]

WEN comment on FSR: Referring to beginning of the June 27 staff report, the applicant seeks “… to increase the permitted floor space ratio (FSR) from 2.87 FSR to 11.27 FSR and the building height from 75.6 m (248 ft.) to 169.5 m (556 ft.)

Continue reading

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1488 Robson Street goes to Development Permit Board (Mon, June 12, 2017)

1400-or-1488-robson-changingcitybookThe Development Permit for 1488 Robson Street is scheduled for 3 pm on Monday, June 12, 2017. This is the current site of the Empire Landmark Hotel (previously known as the Sheraton Landmark Hotel), which is to be demolished. No Public Hearing will occur. Agenda for meeting:

Projects covered at the meeting:
– 1236 Bidwell Street
– 401 W Georgia St
– 1488 Robson St

Town Hall Meeting Room (1st Floor, City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue ). To address the board, call or write the DPB Assistant (604-873-7469,

Report and appendices:

Search the WEN website for “1488 Robson” for previous coverage.

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1444 Alberni Street & 740 Nicola: 43 & 48 storey towers – Open House June 7 (Wed)


Image of proposed towers at 1444 Alberni and 740 Nicola, credit Final designs could be different.

Piecing together bits of information…


1444 Alberni Street and 740 Nicola Street
[Also listed as 1488 Alberni]
Prezoning Open House before submission of application to the City of Vancouver
Wednesday, June 7, 2017, from 5 to 7 pm

Two towers of 43 & 48 storeys with approximately 491 units (approx. 358 strata units and 133 market rental residential) including a mix of townhomes and family size units (2+ bedrooms). [West End Planning Team update June 1 says this is 44 and 49 storeys…]

According to the, “A cluster of rival luxury condo towers is rapidly emerging in the small area around Alberni and West Georgia where the West End Plan contemplated higher towers. The latest design is about to head to a pre-rezoning open house, before submission to the City for consideration. This isn’t the first pair of towers designed for this site; it was initially assembled by Wall Financial who commissioned a more contemporary design for a pair of towers, before selling the site on to Landa Properties and Asia Standard for twice what they had acquired it for. The new owners have commissioned New York architect Robert A M Stern (with Vancouver’s MCM) who have produced this initial design. It’s a very retro design, looking like New York towers from the 1930s, and also a very similar tower designed by the same architect in Toronto. If these are approved (after the many steps they face) they will look very different from the much more contemporary designs proposed so far in this area…” Continue reading

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West End Community Plan Update (June 1, 2017): City’s planning team lists rezonings, developments, events

West End aerial view, in CoV WE Plan draft 22-Oct-2013Here is a copy of the June 1, 2017 newsletter from the West End Planning Team at the City of Vancouver. For up to date details about the implementation of the West End Community Plan please click


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


Gabriola Mansion (1523 Davie Street)

  • Proposal to restore significant interior and exterior heritage features of the mansion
  • Convert the mansion into 16 market rental units
  • Construct four 3-storey market rental townhomes on the northeast corner of the property
  • A community open house will be held with the applicant team and City staff available to answer questions

Thursday, June 8, 5 – 8 pm
Best Western Plus Sands
1755 Davie Street

1055 Harwood St Continue reading

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New rezoning proposal for 32 storey tower 1055 Harwood Street (at over 10 FSR): Open House June 26 (Mon)


32-storey tower proposed for 1055 Harwood. Image from

A new rezoning proposal has been published for a 32 storey tower at just over 10 FSR on the site at 1055 Harwood Street.


Public comments can be provided by online feedback form.

Community open house
Monday, June 26, 2017, from 5 to 7 pm
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites (1110 Howe Street), Columbia Room, Mezzanine Level

According to, the West End Community Plan made this possible. A 32 storey tower designed by NSDA would replace a 28 unit co-op, which was sold last year and is now to be redeveloped by Strand Developments with Intracorp. The proposal has 82 market units, all 2-bedroom or larger, and 25% of the space as social housing (for 44 units in total, with 24 two or three bed family units).

Building height would be 300 feet, and the density proposed is 10.35 FSR.

The RM-5A zoned site was redesignated under the West End Community Plan, adopted in 2014. The site was acquired in August 2016 for $40.5 Million. Did the community plan unleash a frenzy of speculation and escalating land prices with the promise of taller buildings and higher density? How is the community plan doing with its core promise and selling point of delivering “deeper affordability”?

The full information about the rezoning is here on the City’s website.

Note that under the City’s Orwellian definition of “social housing” only one-third of the proposed units are required to be rented at “housing allowance rates” which allow household incomes of up to $50,000 or so for a two bedroom unit. The remainder can be market-priced rentals.

It is interesting to see the contrast between the sizes of the “social housing” units on the lower floor, and the luxury condos up above:

The elevators for the luxury condos extend through the social housing component of the building, but there is no access to the elevators from these floors.

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Westbank luxury tower coming to West End 1668 – 1684 Alberni Street. 1st open house June 12 (Mon)

Developer’s open house for tower proposed at 1668-1684 Alberni
Monday, June 12, 2017, 5:00 – 7:30 p.m
At the Empire Landmark Hotel (Crystal Ballroom West), 1400 Robson Street

We learned about this open house by Westbank from an article in UrbanYVR. Excerpt: “Yet another luxury condominium development is coming to Alberni Street in Vancouver’s West End. Westbank and Bing Thom Architects will be holding an open house in two weeks to reveal plans for a new tower at 1668 – 1684 Alberni Street. The site is currently occupied by two residential condominium buildings, one of which was constructed in 1990. The open house invitation states that the redevelopment proposal aligns with the city’s West End Community Plan, which allows for taller buildings. There are few details about the proposal known at this point, but it’s expected to be a luxury condominium tower, with a possible market rental component.”

Two towers already stand where this new one is proposed. So this proposal means demolition of two existing concrete buildings for one new one. How will this deliver the “deeper affordability” promised by the West End Community Plans?

1668 Alberni (strata VAS2688) was built in 1990 with 11 units over 11 levels, near intersection of Alberni and Bidwell. Current age 27 years.

At 1684 Alberni (strata VAS705), the Lord Stanley was built in 1980, with 12 units over 13 levels. Current age 37 years.

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