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Major redevelopment with 2,100 homes proposed for Vancouver's Langara Gardens

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Kenneth Chan Mar 07, 2018 7:13 pm 2,445

Another massive neighbourhood-scale redevelopment is proposed for the Cambie Street Corridor, across from the future Pearson Dogwood redevelopment and Langara Golf Course in South Vancouver.

Peterson Group, in partnership with Concert Properties, intends to redevelop its 20.8-acre Langara Gardens property, which is framed by West 54th Avenue to the north, Cambie Street to the east, West 57th Avenue to the south, and Heather Street to the west.

The development team worked with James Cheng Architects to draft the Planning Policy Statement for the redevelopment of the site. At this stage of the planning process, the proponents are seeking Vancouver City Council’s approval of the policy statement, which will guide future rezoning and redevelopment.

Langara Gardens Vancouver

The existing 21-acre Langara Gardens site. (James Cheng Architects / Peterson Group / Concert Properties)

Langara Gardens

The existing four towers at Langara Gardens on the northwest corner of the intersection of Cambie Street and West 57th Avenue. (The existing 21-acre Langara Gardens site. (Peterson Group)

New and replacement housing

The existing Langara Gardens, designed in 1968, is Vancouver’s largest purpose-built rental housing neighbourhood, and it consists of ground-oriented garden apartments, townhouses, and four high-rise residential towers. It currently has 605 rental units and a population of about 1,400 residents.

According to the proposed plan, the redevelopment would create about 2.54 million sq. ft. of new development, creating an additional 2,100 homes for up to 5,500 residents.

This includes about 430 units of affordable housing, as the municipal government’s Rezoning Policy for Sustainable Large Developments requires 20% of the units be built as affordable housing. Furthermore, 50% of the affordable housing must be large enough for families with two bedrooms or more.

The proposed policy also stipulates a minimum of 35% of the market housing units will be two- or three-bedroom units.

Langara Gardens Vancouver

Preliminary conceptual artistic rendering of Langara Gardens. (James Cheng Architects / Peterson Group / Concert Properties)

As for the existing rental residents of Langara Gardens, the policy promises to retain or replace all of the 605 rental units that currently exist on the site. This will be achieved by retaining 355 rental housing units within four existing high-rise towers and building new rental housing replacement stock for the remainder.

When the new Langara Gardens is fully complete, there could be over 1,000 rental housing units.

“The diversity of new housing envisioned for Langara Gardens can make a meaningful contribution to meeting the City’s goals and aspirations set out in the Housing Vancouver strategy particularly delivering the ‘right supply’ while ‘preserving and protecting’ existinga affordable housing stock in established neighbourhoods,” said Brian McCauley, president and CEO of Concert Properties.

“We are very proud the vision for Langara Gardens preserves its legacy as Vancouver’s largest purpose-built rental community, as well as respects the unique characteristics that makes it so special today.”

The additional density will be accomplished by building seven additional towers reaching up to 28 storeys or 285-ft in height, with the tallest buildings located along Cambie Street and near the centre of the site.

A number of shorter buildings are proposed; a transitional edge of six-storey buildings is envisioned for 54th Avenue, and terraced mid-rise buildings step from four to 14 storeys to create rooftop garden space and building height transitions.

Low-rise townhouses will line internal mews to “create a sense of openness and an intimate scale for pedestrians.”

Langara Gardens Vancouver

Preliminary conceptual site map of Langara Gardens showing proposed building heights. (James Cheng Architects / Peterson Group / Concert Properties)

Relatively minimal commercial uses are planned, with such commercial spaces dedicated for local-serving businesses such as a cafe, restaurant, deli, bakery, neighbourhood grocery store, and professional offices.

With all of this added development, the new Langara Gardens will have a density about three and a half times of the current buildings. Its density will be 2.8 times the size of the site area (FSR) – up from the current permitted density of 0.782 FSR.

Public amenities and new Canada Line station investment

When it comes to community and public amenities in exchange for the added density, the development team will be required to:

  • build a new 69-space childcare facility
  • create at least one acre of new City-owned public park, plus new public open spaces that connect the site to create pedestrian-oriented connections
  • retrofit Sir Winston Churchill Secondary’s running track with a new design
  • make transportation improvements to the immediate vicinity, including a new public street network crossing through the site
  • make a financial contribution towards the future potential subway station for the Canada Line at the intersection of 57th Avenue and Cambie Street

The new Canada Line station financial contribution, which has yet to be determined, would add to Onni Group’s $20 million contribution towards the station as a condition of its approved density for the immediately adjacent Pearson Dogwood redevelopment to the south.

Langara Gardens Vancouver

Preliminary conceptual site map of Langara Gardens showing proposed buildings and new park spaces. (James Cheng Architects / Peterson Group / Concert Properties)

Following further public consultation, the policy statement will be considered by City Council later this spring.

Other redevelopments along the Cambie Street Corridor

With the Marine Gardens proposal, the Cambie Street Corridor will have five major neighbourhood-scale redevelopments, such as Oakridge Centre, the former RCMP headquarters at the Heather Lands, Pearson Dogwood, and the buildings being built around Marine Gateway.

Langara Gardens Pearson Dogwood

Future neighbourhood map showing the Langara Gardens redevelopment (top) and Pearson Dogwood redevelopment (bottom). (City of Vancouver)

Conceptual rendering of the Pearson Dogwood redevelopment just south of Marine Gardens. (Onni Group)

This does not include standalone and infill townhouse and mid-rise residential projects along Cambie Street and significant redevelopments of the Oakridge bus depot and Little Mountain on neighbouring corridors.

The scale of the potential redevelopments along the Cambie Street Corridor will be defined following the completion of phase three of the Corridor’s planning program.

See also

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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