If approved, a proposed office tower at the southeast corner of East Broadway and Ontario Street would become one of the largest office development projects along the Central Broadway Corridor in years.
A rezoning application — submitted by Value Property Group and designed by Formosis Architecture — calls for a new 148-ft-tall, 12-storey office tower at 24 East Broadway, just two blocks west of SkyTrain Millennium Line’s future Mount Pleasant Station at Main Street, as part of the Broadway Extension project.
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The site is currently occupied by a 1959-built, three-storey commercial building, and a 1910-built, three-storey house. Both properties were sold in January 2017 for a combined value of $19.3 million.
The application calls for a 148-ft-tall, 12-storey tower with 104,755 sq. ft. of office space within the upper levels and 20,284 sq. ft. of retail space on the lower levels.
The retail component spans the first two levels, as well as the basement level, which is connected to the ground floor by stairs, an elevator, and floor openings to create a visual connection with the street and other retail levels. A ground-level retail unit with a patio fronting Ontario Street is suitable for a cafe.
Up above, the office levels are grouped into three distinct “blocks,” with the bulking lower two blocks forming a podium to create larger office plates.
Outdoor amenity spaces are planned for various office levels, including a large private outdoor amenity deck on the podium rooftop at the ninth level, and an accessible landscaped amenity space on the tower’s rooftop.
Workers will have access to a 4,260-sq-ft indoor amenity space on the eighth level with a fitness gym, yoga room, end-of-trip facilities, and multi-purpose spaces, as well as a common outdoor amenity deck.
“The building is massed as a series of three blocks. Two west corner blocks are stacked at the corner of Ontario Street and East Broadway. The breaking of the corner mass into the two portions reduces perceived mass and height, while the ‘joints’ give relief and create semi private and private outdoor gathering spaces for the building’s tenants,” reads the architect’s design rationale.
“The corner is massed highest as it allows a larger set back to the existing buildings and future redevelopments, and marks the importance of the corner. The third block to the east is kept lower to transition the height and mass down to a potential neighbour.”
The design maximizes the site’s allowable height, which is restricted by the Queen Elizabeth Park view cone.
Despite the height restrictions that limit additional office space, proponents believe their project aligns with the city and region’s economic development goals for Central Broadway.
“This proposal recognizes a shifting of the centre of gravity for jobs and transit towards Broadway with the upcoming SkyTrain Broadway Extension,” continues the application.
“The building responds to the Core Jobs and Economy plan by bringing significant amount of new office space to the transit hub of Main and Broadway, providing a small floor plate office with great access to daylight and views for all occupants, and delivering office space near the Mount Pleasant Industrial area to relieve the current pressure to convert industrial space to commercial office.”
Aligning with the general goals of the municipal government’s forthcoming Broadway Plan, there will also be public realm enhancements, including part of the municipal government’s plan for a new “city boulevard” on Broadway, and an overhanging illuminated soffit — similar to the installation at the TELUS Garden office tower — as a large canvas for public art.
To support the employment density, there will be 230 vehicle parking stalls and 68 bike parking spaces within six underground levels below the retail basement. An on-site public bike share, along the Ontario Street Greenway, will be installed onto the corner plaza.
Altogether, the proposal calls for 125,039 sq. ft. of total floor area, creating a floor space ratio density of 7.75 times the size of the 16,100-sq-ft lot.
Proponents are targeting a LEED Gold or LEED Platinum green building standard.