A sizeable development project for Mount Pleasant could provide new social housing units for elderly individuals, people with disabilities, and families.
In partnership with BC Housing and Wall Financial Corporation, Brightside Community Homes Foundation (BCHF) has submitted a rezoning application to the City of Vancouver to redevelop 349 East 6th Avenue — the northwest corner of the intersection of East 6th Avenue and Brunswick Street — into a 124-ft-tall, 11-storey tower.
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The site, currently occupied by an ageing three-storey, 36-unit market residential building, is adjacent to BCHF’s 1968-built Lion’s Manor for seniors, and is just a three-minute walk from SkyTrain’s future station at the intersection of Great Northern Way and Thornton Street, as part of the Millennium Line Broadway Extension.
The proposal calling for 82 units of social housing is effectively an expansion of BCHF’s presence in the area, with a unit mix of 35 studios, 25 one-bedroom units, 18 two-bedroom units, and four three-bedroom units.
“The proposed development is uniquely suited to meet the City’s Housing Objectives while offering an opportunity to transform a centrally located underutilized site to better serve independent seniors and families living in Vancouver,” reads the application. “This intensification in height and density aims to provide more affordable housing options in a central neighbourhood of Vancouver, while maintaining the overall character of the neighbourhood.”
“Although BCHF has taken steps to maintain the existing Lion’s Manor property at a high standard, it is aging and does not offer accessibility features such as an elevator, often required for seniors ageing in place.”
Ample consideration has been given to creating indoor and outdoor living environments that lead to improved health outcomes and comfort, and encourage social interaction between residents.
On the ground level, a shared outdoor amenity space spills out from the indoor common amenity area and wraps around the edge of the tower.
There is an additional shared indoor and amenity space on the tower rooftop, including an indoor amenity lounge with a kitchenette, and spaces for shared dining and lounging, as well as an outdoor area with dining and benches, and greenery.
All units also have their own balconies that provide private open spaces to residents.
“Access to nature and natural light, results in improved health outcomes and comfort through stress reduction, sensory stimulation, exercise and increased opportunities for social connection,” reads the design rationale by IBI Group.
“Individuals generally experience greater happiness and a deeper sense of belonging when they interact with others. For this development, it was important to create spaces where this interaction could naturally occur.”
The application calls for 58,791 sq. ft. of total floor area, giving the project a floor space ratio density of 4.87 times the size of its 12,100-sq-ft lot.
A single underground level will accommodate 20 vehicle parking stalls and 106 bike parking spaces.