Luxury condo tower designed by Burj Khalifa architect proposed for Vancouver

May 8 2019, 10:31 pm

The same architectural firm responsible for the designs of some of the world’s most significant buildings, including Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and New York City’s One World Trade Centre Freedom Tower, is also behind an upcoming proposal in downtown Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood.

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Local developer Landa Global Properties is working with Chicago-based architectural firm SOM on its proposal for 1640-1650 Alberni Street — just across from the West Georgia Street development sites of the White Spot restaurant and the former Chevron gas station, and next to the site of another future 39-storey luxury residential tower.

1650 Alberni Street Vancouver

Site of 1650 Alberni Street, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

1650 Alberni Street Vancouver

Site of 1650 Alberni Street, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

A formal application has not been submitted to the municipal government, but Landa Global’s website indicates it will be one of downtown’s tallest luxury residential towers.

The developer plans to construct 172 upscale homes within 208,336 sq. ft. of floor area, including some mixed uses.

This tower proposal height is approximately 400 ft with roughly 40 storeys, with an architecturally-unique flair emphasized by an irregular visible pattern of stacked floor plates that protrude and form cavities. This concept is further enforced by the system of protruding balconies.

If the project receives various approvals, the developer hopes to have the tower completed by 2025.

1650 Alberni Street Vancouver

May 2019 artistic rendering of 1650 Alberni Street, Vancouver. (SOM / Landa Global Properties)

1650 Alberni Street Vancouver

May 2019 artistic rendering of 1650 Alberni Street, Vancouver. (SOM / Landa Global Properties)

1650 Alberni Street Vancouver

May 2019 artistic rendering of 1650 Alberni Street, Vancouver. (SOM / Landa Global Properties)

1650 Alberni Street Vancouver

May 2019 artistic rendering of 1650 Alberni Street, Vancouver. (SOM / Landa Global Properties)

Currently, the development site is occupied by 14-storey building completed in 1969 with 66 rental units. It was recently subject to a proposal by Hollyburn Properties to build a 385-ft-tall, 42-storey tower with 276 rental homes, with 40% of the units large enough for families.

However, Hollyburn Properties withdrew its rental tower rezoning application, cancelled the project, and sold the site to Landa Global. According to the developer, exorbitant city fees for a rental housing project made the project financially unfeasible.

“It was largely approved, but there was a hiccup in the negotiations with the community amenity contributions (CACs) that Hollyburn was unable to come into an agreement with  the city,” Hollyburn Properties spokesperson Olivia Brown told Daily Hive in August 2018, adding that “the city decided that the highest and best value for the property would be to build luxury condominiums.”

Hollyburn Properties specializes in building rental housing, and noted “when it came down to the numbers, it was best for us to sell the property instead of rezoning and redeveloping it ourselves.”

Artistic rendering of the cancelled proposal to build a rental housing tower at 1640-1650 Alberni Street, Vancouver. (Hollyburn Properties)

Landa Global has other architecturally-unique projects in the area, including a pair of New York City architecture-style towers at 1468 Alberni Street, with 443 homes within towers reaching up to 442 ft tall. It also has a miniature, Jenga-like, 21-storey luxury residential tower at 1810 Alberni Street, on a corner with Denman Street.

In recent years, a two-block radius around the intersection of West Pender Street and West Georgia Street has been a hotspot for some of Vancouver’s most interesting and large residential tower designs, such as Ole Scheeren and Bosa Properties’ 43-storey Jenga tower and Kengo Kuma and Westbank’s 40-storey carved tower.

1468 Alberni Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 1468 Alberni Street, Vancouver. (Robert A.M. Stern Architects / MCM Partnership / Landa Global Properties / Asia Americas)

1810 Alberni Street, Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the proposal at 1810 Alberni Street, Vancouver. (Landa Global Properties / Rafii Architects)

1500 West Georgia Street

Artistic rendering of 1500 West Georgia Street. (Ole Scheeren / Bosa Properties)

Artistic rendering of 1550 Alberni Street, Vancouver. (Kengo Kuma / Westbank)

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Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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