575 rental homes in twin towers proposed for West End in downtown (RENDERINGS)

Apr 14 2021, 5:50 pm

Revised plans are being brought forward for a stalled project with twin towers in downtown Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood.

Newly submitted rezoning applications by Bosa Properties’ Bosa4Rent Homes division seek to redevelop the northeast and southeast corners of the intersection of Thurlow Street and Harwood Street, with 1065 Harwood and 1332 Thurlow Street deemed as the north site and 1066-1078 Harwood Street being the south site.

Both sites are currently occupied by four 60-year-old, low-rise buildings with a combined total of 98 rental units.

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Site of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Site of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

The original application in 2017 called for a pair of 300-ft-tall, 33-storey towers with hundreds of condominium homes and 98 one-for-one replacement rental homes.

Instead, the new proposal now envisions a pair of 316-ft-tall, 34-storey towers with 575 secured purpose-built rental homes, including 113 below-market rental homes — exceeding the minimum one-for-one replacement requirement.

Furthermore, 30% of the below-market homes will have rent offered at 50% of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) rates for incomes between $26,000 and $74,000. The remaining below-market rental units will be offered at 20% of CMHC rates for incomes between $42,000 and $118,000.

2017 proposal with condominiums:

Artistic rendering of the 2017 proposed BlueSky development at the intersection of Thurlow Street and Harwood Street. (Henriquez Partners Architects/BlueSky Properties)

2021 proposal with rental homes:

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

This major change from a condominium-primary to rental-only project is made possible after Vancouver City Council’s November 2020 decision that granted developers along Thurlow Street the permission to propose market and below-market rental housing instead of a mix of condominiums and social housing.

Due to the softened condominium market conditions, several proposals along Thurlow Street falling under the previous condominium-social housing scheme have stalled for a number of years, including this project by Bosa Properties, which is amongst the largest of the proposals.

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

The unit mix for the revised rental-only proposal is 112 studios, 260 one-bedroom units, 191 two-bedroom units, and 12 three-bedroom units. At least 35% of the units, including those at below-market rental rates, will have two bedrooms or more.

All residents will share the same lobby space and common amenity facilities, including indoor and outdoor amenities within the base and rooftop of each tower.

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

Furthermore, there has been a complete departure from the previous contemporary glass design of the towers.

The revised design by Henriquez Partners Architects offers a vintage character, with its use of traditional materials including red brick and bronze materials for the exterior cladding.

At the same time, there will also be a contemporary interpretation of the West End’s context, with the traditional materials used for the weaving of horizontal and vertical bands.

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

“High quality building materials will be used throughout the project in a refined palette that integrates with the rich historical context of its surroundings. The solid walls of the building will be clad with durable materials. Insulated precast concrete panels with a thin brick veneer or with a form lined texture are being explored as possible options for a durable and timeless character that will blend with the variety of styles and architectural typologies that define the texture of Vancouver’s West End,” reads the design rationale.

“The solid walls will help highlight the building’s unique interlocking vocabulary, expressed by the balconies that are sculpted out of the horizontal bands. These solid wall bands have been metaphorically pushed out by the balconies and broken at the ends. The open ends of the balconies are framed by bronze picket railings.”

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

Seven underground levels in the north tower and six underground levels in the south tower will accommodate a combined total of 319 vehicle parking stalls and over 1,000 bike parking spaces.

The total floor area for both towers combined is 453,000 sq ft, creating a floor area ratio density of a floor area that is 13.1 times larger than the size of the 34,600 sq ft total lot size of both sites.

The proponents note that the sites are not restricted by any mountain view cones, and the design serves to reinforce the municipal government’s prescribed dome-shaped skyline.

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

1065-1066-1078 Harwood Street 1332 Thurlow Street Vancouver Bosa4Rent

Artistic rendering of the rental-only concept for 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street (north site) and 1078 Harwood Street (south site). (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa4Rent Homes)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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