Two thirds of a city block site, currently occupied by three and four-storey rental buildings, near the Davie Village in downtown Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood could be demolished and replaced with new residential towers designed for larger families.
Local real estate developer Marcon submitted a development application designed by Henriquez Partners Architects last fall to develop 1345 Davie Street, the northeast corner of Davie and Broughton streets, into two 18 and 19-storey residential buildings built over a three and four-storey podium. The buildings will reach a height of about 175 feet and 157 feet, achieving a total floor space ratio density of 6.55 with a gross floor area of 232,000 square feet.
There will be 153 units of market residential condominiums and 68 units of social housing, however, the social component is designed to only replace the 68 units of rental housing that will be lost from tearing down the existing wood frame buildings on the site.
The project is being considered under the municipal government’s Housing for Families with Children Guidelines, and as a result the proponents are designing 50% of the social housing units to be units with two bedrooms or larger, and 70% overall for the entire project.
There is currently a vacancy rate of less than 0.5% in the West End neighbourhood, which is indicative of overwhelming demand unmet by a severe lack of supply.
“The West End is no exception to these challenges, and has among the highest levels of housing needs in the city,” reads a backgrounder for the project. “Providing a range of housing options in the West End contributes to a healthy and vibrant community, a strong downtown, and a more equitable city of people of all income levels. There is a strong demand for a variety of safe, purpose-built affordable rental housing options to meet the increasing and diverse needs of the community.”
No commercial street frontage as an extension of Davie Village’s retail strip is planned. To support the project, proponents will build four levels of underground parking with 257 spaces.
Ample amenity and gathering spaces are planned, such as a large sunken private courtyard, gazebo with seating area, an entry bridge, and a condominium owner-only amenity pavilion with a rooftop patio at the top of the podium structure between the two towers. The back lane to the project will also be animated with numerous private patios and balconies and an exercise pavilion.
The facade of the towers features staggered balconies, with the towers split in two at each facade to reduce scale and enliven their edges.
A similarly scaled and purposed project that is also designed by Henriquez Partners Architects is planned for the Safeway site located two blocks west at 1661 Davie Street. Other rental projects in the vicinity include a 178-unit, 21-storey project at 1754-1772 Pendrell Street and a 158-unit, 23-storey project at 1668 Davie Street.