The long-awaited redevelopment of the 15-acre Little Mountain property in Vancouver is showing new signs of life.
A development application has been submitted by local developer Holborn Holdings Ltd. to construct an 89-ft-tall, eight-storey, mixed-use building at 5299 Main Street — the northwest corner of the intersection of Main Street and 37th Avenue.
With 126 market homes, if approved, this will be the neighbourhood-size redevelopment’s first market housing building. The unit mix is 16 studio units, 54 one-bedroom units, 47 two-bedroom units, and nine three-bedroom units.
A relatively significant amount of commercial space is planned, as 15,220 sq. ft. of ground-level space will be set aside for a grocery store and fitness gym uses.
Designed by B+H Architects, this building’s unique fluid-like form of curving facades along the Main Street frontage protects three mature Norway Maple trees, with the facade curving around each tree.
“The curvilinear segments of picketed guardrails delineate the form, and these pickets are accentuated at certain moments – vertically at the bulges, and horizontally at the stepped levels – in the form of a gradient of shifting colour, a feature that enlivens the building from the street,” reads the architect’s design rationale.
To support the building’s activity, there will be 218 vehicle parking stalls within two underground levels accessed from the laneway. A Mobi public bike share docking station will also occupy the building’s entire southern frontage along East 37th Avenue.
Altogether, the building will have a total floor area of 127,000 sq. ft., providing the project with a floor space ratio density of 3.33 times the size of its 38,000-sq-ft lot.
The developer of Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver has plans to build 17 mid-rise buildings at Little Mountain, including 1,300 market housing units, 282 social housing units, commercial spaces, and a community centre with daycare. Ample public and open spaces are also planned.
In 2008, Holborn acquired the former social housing property from the provincial government for about $330 million. A site-wide rezoning application was approved by the municipal government in 2016, and the urban design principles were green lighted just last year.
A permanent social housing building with 53 homes was completed on the site in 2015, and a temporary modular housing structure with 46 homes was constructed near the site’s southeast corner last year. This temporary social housing building is anticipated to remain on the property for about three years.
Earlier this month, Holborn submitted a development application for Little Mountain’s second permanent housing building — an eight-storey building with 63 homes at 155 East 37th Avenue, on the north side of 5299 Main Street.
A development application for temporary, single-storey, 10,000-sq-ft presentation centre for the market housing portion of the Little Mountain redevelopment is also under review. The presentation centre is slated for 8 East 3rd Avenue, located on the northwest corner of the site.