500 rental homes proposed for Arbutus Street near 33rd Avenue in Vancouver

Jul 16 2019, 11:05 pm

Another significant infusion of rental housing has been proposed for Vancouver, but for a change, this latest proposal is located deep in the Westside area, on the Arbutus Corridor.

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Broadway Properties and Colliers International are proposing to redevelop 4683 Arbutus Street – a 129,000-sq-ft lot at the northwest corner of the intersection of 32nd Avenue and Arbutus Street, next to Prince of Wales Park – into a new, mixed-use complex with 502 new purpose-built rental homes.

4683 Arbutus Street Vancouver

Site of 4683 Arbutus Street, Vancouver. (DIALOG Architecture / Broadway Properties / Colliers International)

4683 Arbutus Street Vancouver

July 2019 preliminary concept of 4683 Arbutus Street, Vancouver. (DIALOG Architecture / Broadway Properties / Colliers International)

4683 Arbutus Street Vancouver

July 2019 preliminary concept of 4683 Arbutus Street, Vancouver. (DIALOG Architecture / Broadway Properties / Colliers International)

The development would replace an aging pair of 1964-built, two-storey apartment buildings with 80 rental units. Currently, only 50% of these units are tenanted as the remaining half have been deemed uninhabitable.

As the project is under the city’s Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program (MIRHPP), at least 20% of the units will be dedicated to moderate income rental rates – translated as between $30,000 and $80,000 annually.

Remaining tenants will be relocated based on city council’s June 2019 updates to the Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy.

4683 Arbutus Street Vancouver

July 2019 preliminary concept of 4683 Arbutus Street, Vancouver. (DIALOG Architecture / Broadway Properties / Colliers International)

These new homes would be contained within four buildings, including a five-storey southeast building, six-storey northwest building, 14-storey northeast tower with six-storey podium, and 14-storey southeast tower with six-storey podium.

Alternative options with taller building heights are being considered to create additional rental homes. One option would increase the southeast tower from 14 storeys to 17 storeys to create 24 more rental homes, including five below-market MIRHPP, while another option would increase all of the six-storey tower podiums by one level to create the same number of additional units.

The unit mix will be roughly 25% studios, 40% one-bedroom units, 25% two-bedroom units, and 10% three-bedroom units.

Altogether, the combined total floor area for all buildings is approximately 440,000 sq. ft.

4683 Arbutus Street Vancouver

July 2019 preliminary concept of 4683 Arbutus Street, Vancouver. (DIALOG Architecture / Broadway Properties / Colliers International)

4683 Arbutus Street Vancouver

July 2019 preliminary concept of 4683 Arbutus Street, Vancouver. (DIALOG Architecture / Broadway Properties / Colliers International)

There will also a childcare facility and an extensive pedestrian-only public realm that crosses through the core of the lot, with landscaping and ample plaza spaces activated by a community food market, community kitchen, and local-serving retail storefront.

Within the inner courtyard and perimeter spaces, other features could potentially include a playground and a Mobi bike share station.

Rooftop spaces may be used as grass roofs to support rainwater and stormwater management systems, urban agriculture, and outdoor amenity spaces.

“Increasingly well-positioned in terms of amenities and services, the Arbutus Corridor presents us with a tremendous opportunity,”reads early-stage design work by DIALOG Architecture and P+A Landscape Architecture. “Our team has embraced the opportunity to create a compact and complete community.”

4683 Arbutus Street Vancouver

July 2019 preliminary concept of 4683 Arbutus Street, Vancouver. (DIALOG Architecture / Broadway Properties / Colliers International)

4683 Arbutus Street Vancouver

July 2019 preliminary concept of 4683 Arbutus Street, Vancouver. (DIALOG Architecture / Broadway Properties / Colliers International)

It goes on to say that the proposal “combines a well-designed mix of housing types, local gathering places, and community facilities, improving the walkability, livability and sustainability of the neighbourhood. We envision a development that enables residents of different life stages, income levels, and abilities to grow and age in place, enhancing the existing neighbourhood.”

The redevelopment is still in its preliminary planning stages, and the proponents have yet to submit a formal rezoning application to the municipal government.

Area precedent for the scale of the proposal has already been established by the nearby mixed-use redevelopment of the seven-acre Arbutus Village just three blocks north, where buildings will reach up to 236 ft and a combined total floor area of 835,000 sq. ft., with over 500 homes — including 240 purpose-built rental homes — and 269,000 sq. ft. of retail, restaurant, and office space. The retail component is anchored by a new replacement Safeway store.

As well, the area could be served by rail transit in the future, with the Arbutus Greenway’s new permanent design to include space for a streetcar line.

2133 Nanton Avenue Vancouver Arbutus Village

Artistic rendering of the approved 2018 rezoning application of Arbutus Village at 2133 Nanton Avenue, Vancouver. (Larco Investments)

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