Another church in Vancouver has decided to dive into the housing redevelopment stream to provide itself with new modernized facilities, but unlike other projects the resulting new additional residential uses will be entirely below-market.
On Tuesday, Vancouver City Council unanimously approved the rezoning application to redevelop the 1962-built, two-storey Lakewood Multicultural United Church into a new six-storey mixed-use building with 104 units of social housing and new replacement church and congregation space.
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The property is located at 2776 Semlin Drive and 2025 East 12th Avenue — the northeast corner of the intersection of East 12th Avenue and Semlin Drive, about an eight-minute walk from SkyTrain’s Commercial-Broadway Station.
The existing church building contains a Montessori childcare, refugee support programs and community meals in partnership with the nearby Immigration Service Society of BC, and other community engagement. But the childcare component will not be replaced in the new development due to its financial impact on the social housing component.
“I used to host community meals in the gym of this church every month. The building itself means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to the congregation, and I know how ready they are for a new space,” said city councillor Christine Boyle during the meeting.
“While this congregation could have sold off strata housing units, they instead decided to prioritize people and housing for people over profit by choosing to develop and run non-profit housing as part of their ministry and their work in the community. I think we heard really clearly from some of the congregation on how that fits into their values and why it’s important to them. I know this project has been a long time coming.”
This L-shaped building, designed by SHAPE Architecture, will be constructed to a Passive House green design standard.
The social housing component will have a unit mix of 56 studio units, 38 two-bedroom units, and 10 three-bedroom units.
Residents will have access to a landscaped courtyard on the northeast corner of the property that acts as a buffer between the new development and the adjacent Lakewood Terrace Co-op. In addition, there will be indoor and outdoor amenity space on the fourth floor, including a children’s play area within the 1,700-sq-ft outdoor rooftop space.
On the ground level along the East 12th Avenue frontage, Lakewood will have a new replacement church space totalling 7,400 sq ft, including a new sanctuary, multi-purpose rooms, kitchen, and office space.
A single underground level will contain 48 vehicle parking stalls and 224 bike parking spaces.
The redevelopment will generate 80,000 sq ft of total floor area, creating a floor space ratio density of 2.55 times the size of its 31,400-sq-ft lot.