A newly submitted rezoning application calls for a new mixed-use redevelopment just south of SkyTrain’s Joyce-Collingwood Station that includes a new Vancouver Public Library (VPL) branch.
J+S Architect is seeking permission to turn the site at 5163-5187 Joyce Street — currently occupied by two-storey retail and residential buildings constructed in the early 1970s — into a new 309-ft-tall, 32-storey tower.
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Records show both properties for the project were acquired in March 2017 for their redevelopment potential.
The proposal envisions 293 condominium homes, with a unit mix of 177 one-bedroom units, 87 two-bedroom units, and 29 three-bedroom units.
The tower’s first two floors will be dedicated to commercial and public uses, including 5,200 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space on the ground level, and 14,600 sq. ft. of public library space largely on the second level. Excluding the ground level library lobby and vertical circulation space, the usable public library space on the second level is 12,200 sq. ft.
The inclusion of a public library near the transit hub is guided by the city’s Joyce-Collingwood Station Precinct Plan, which will replace VPL’s aging Collingwood branch location at 2985 Kingsway.
“The programs of the development are distributed based on the duration of use. All of the commercial areas are located on the street level facing Joyce street. This allows the new development to provide more engagement with the community and activate the street level. The entrance to the library is prominently featured and accessed through a pedestrian corridor,” reads the architect’s design rationale.
“The public library occupies the entire second floor of the podium. The location of the public library ensures that it has a degree of quietness as it is lifted off the street, but at the same time is easily accessible from the public realm.”
The tower’s northern facade is particularly recognizable, demarcated by its steel diagonal grid exoskeleton to create a contemporary architectural expression.
“By considering the prominent location of the site, which is at a major public transit network crossing point, the diagonal city grids have been extracted, simplified and applied to the Northeast portion of the tower facade. These steel frames carry over the facade from podium to full height of the tower, wrapping the corners, thus creating a visual landmark for the pedestrian and transit flow at and around the Joyce-Vanness intersection,” continues the rationale.
“We believe the proposal will not only enhance this vibrant neighborhood at the scale of the pedestrian but also at the large of urban context. The new public library and street level amenities will help activate the immediate neighbourhood context as well as promote the transit-oriented densification the city aims to achieve.”
Six underground levels contain 228 vehicle parking stalls and 588 bike parking spaces. The total floor area is 231,258 sq. ft., providing the building with a floor space ratio density of 13.1 times the size of the lot.
It should be noted that the precinct plan called for the area’s three tallest towers to be at the corners next to the station. However, this proposal that aims to fulfill the final tall tower is on the adjacent lot south of the southwest corner.
The other two tall tower sites are being developed by Westbank, with the 29-storey tower at 5050 Joyce Street with 256 condominiums set for completion in early 2021, and a 36-storey tower at 5055 Joyce Street with 360 secured rental homes — replacing YMCA — recently approved by city council.