A previous proposal to replace a pair of three-storey rental housing buildings in downtown Vancouver’s West End is set to be revived, Daily Hive has learned.
Property owner Henson Developments is restarting the redevelopment application process that had been initiated previously for the sites at 1059 and 1075 Nelson Street — located near the intersection of Nelson Street and Thurlow Street, and immediately west of the social housing component of Westbank’s upcoming The Butterfly redevelopment.
A 551-ft-tall, 60-storey residential tower with 493 homes — dubbed ‘Nelson in the Park’ — was first proposed in 2014 by then-landowner Wall Financial Corporation, but the proposal was suspended after the developer sold the properties to Henson Developments for $68 million.
The quick windfall for Wall Financial Corporation attracted much attention at the time, as the local developer had purchased the properties in 2013 for just $16.8 million.
The design for the original proposal was designed by Chris Doray Studios, and it was shortlisted in the 2015 World Architecture Festival Awards.
Doray previously told Daily Hive that the tower’s concept was a slender, rectangular-shaped building topped off by a large rooftop pool, with a ‘pixelated’ roof structure that provides an aesthetic transition into the sky.
The tower’s height is permitted under the City’s West End Community Plan, and it would be just shy of the height of the 586-ft-tall The Butterfly but taller than the Sheraton One Wall Centre.
The restarted proposal retains the 60-storey tower concept, with 25% of the units proposed to be social housing, five-storeys of market rental housing, and the remaining units as market condominiums.
Currently, there are 51 rental units within the two 1950s-built structures that occupy the proposed development site.
The developer is offering existing tenants with extensive compensation, ranging from three months rent for tenancies between one to five years and up to seven months rent for tenancies over 20 years. Renters will also be provided with up to $2,000 for moving expenses, assistance with identifying new accommodations, and the first right of refusal to a replacement market rental unit or a social housing unit within the new tower.
The process to restart the proposal is still in its early stages. It is anticipated rezoning and permitting will take up to 18 months before any construction could begin.