Nearly all units in Little Mountain social housing building will be sized for larger families

Feb 8 2021, 9:04 am

A development application has been submitted for another parcel of the neighbourhood-sized Little Mountain project, just east of Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver.

This latest application by Holborn Group is for 4902 James Street — a 27,400-sq-ft site of Little Mountain at the southwest corner of 33rd Avenue and the laneway west of Quebec Street. It will account for a quarter of Little Mountain’s ultimate tally of social housing units.

There will be a new 63-ft-tall, six-storey building containing 70 homes, with a unit mix of only a single one-bedroom unit, 30 two-bedroom units, 29 three-bedroom units, seven four-bedroom units, and three five-bedroom units. This composition stands out as nearly all of the units are sized for larger families, which is deemed by the municipal government as any unit with at least two bedrooms.

Residents will have approximately 1,500 sq ft of common indoor amenity space on the ground level, which spills out into an outdoor amenity space.

4902 James Street Vancouver Little Mountain

Site of 4902 James Street (Little Mountain) in Vancouver. (IBI Group/Holborn Group)

4902 James Street Vancouver Little Mountain

Site of 4902 James Street (Little Mountain) in Vancouver. (Google Maps)

The parcel for development sits along Little Mountain’s north-south central spine — a public central street with extensive landscaping that will be traffic calmed and oriented for pedestrians and cyclists.

“The main entrance will be clearly distinguishable through its architectural design and treatment, including a significant trellis and canopy and the application of a light coloured brick along the otherwise dark volume,” reads the design rationale by IBI Group.

“The facade will be comprised primarily of cementitious panels, glass windows and brick – where plays with texture and orientation are used to create visual interest. The lighter volumes on the north and south ends of the building are intentionally minimalistic, combining clean lines and a refined material palette.”

4902 James Street Vancouver Little Mountain

Artistic rendering of 4902 James Street (Little Mountain) in Vancouver. (IBI Group/Holborn Group)

4902 James Street Vancouver Little Mountain

Artistic rendering of 4902 James Street (Little Mountain) in Vancouver. (IBI Group/Holborn Group)

A single underground level will provide 44 vehicle parking stalls and 185 bike parking spaces.

The total floor area of this single building is 76,511 sq ft, creating a floor space ratio density of 2.79 times the size of the 27,400-sq-ft lot.

The entire Little Mountain project spans 15 acres. Based on the approved master plan and site-wide rezoning, upon complete buildout, there will be over a dozen buildings up to 12 storeys in height with 1.66 million sq ft of total floor area, including 1.32 million sq ft of condominiums, 332,000 sq ft of social housing, and 32,800 sq ft of commercial space.

This translates into 1,400 units of condominiums and 282 units of social housing. An extensive public realm is planned, including a new public park, community plaza, open and green spaces, a new city street, and an extension of 35th Avenue.

4902 James Street Vancouver Little Mountain

Artistic rendering of 4902 James Street (Little Mountain) in Vancouver. (IBI Group/Holborn Group)

4902 James Street Vancouver Little Mountain

Artistic rendering of 4902 James Street (Little Mountain) in Vancouver. (IBI Group/Holborn Group)

4902 James Street is the fifth development application for Little Mountain since the first submission in early 2019.

A six-storey housing building for the parcel at 150 East 36th Avenue will have 48 social housing units, a daycare, and a 12,000-sq-ft mini-community centre, while an eight-storey building for 155 East 37th Avenue will have 63 social housing units and 4,200 sq ft of ground-level restaurant space.

A five-storey building with 53 social housing units that reached completion in 2015 is Little Mountain’s first new permanent building.

The other two parcels moving forward contain condominiums, with one of the applications also featuring 15,200 sq ft of ground-level commercial space for a grocery store and fitness gym.

Little Mountain has been a controversial project due to the decade-plus long delays with the development, especially the social housing component, and the financial terms of the sale with the provincial government.

little mountain

2016 rezoning concept rendering of the Little Mountain redevelopment in Vancouver. (Holborn Group)

Little Mountain

Land use depictions from the 2016 rezoning for the Little Mountain redevelopment in Vancouver. (Holborn Group)

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