54 social housing units proposed for 40th Avenue and Victoria Drive corner

Mar 3 2021, 5:31 pm

Vancity Credit Union and Catalyst Community Developments Society have partnered to build a social housing project in the Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighbourhood in East Vancouver.

A new rezoning application has been submitted for 5590 Victoria Drive — the northeast corner of the intersection of East 41st Avenue and Victoria Drive, just east of London Drugs and a two-minute walk from TransLink’s R4 RapidBus bus stops on 41st Avenue.

The property is currently occupied by a single-storey vacant Vancity branch with a surface parking lot along the laneway.

5590 Victoria Drive Vancouver Vancity Social Housing

Location of social housing and a new Vancity branch at 5590 Victoria Drive, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

5590 Victoria Drive Vancouver Vancity Social Housing

Location of social housing and a new Vancity branch at 5590 Victoria Drive, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

This will be a 73-ft-tall, six-storey, L-shaped building with 54 units of social housing in the upper levels, with 37% of the units sized for families (two- and three-bedroom units) and 53% as studio and one-bedroom units.

About 30% of the units will be set at BC Housing’s income limits, while the remainder will be secured rental units.

An indoor amenity space for residents is included on the second level and connected to a landscaped outdoor amenity area.

The ground level will be used as 6,900 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space, including a 4,900 sq. ft. commercial unit for a new replacement Vancity branch. The remaining commercial space will be turned into two smaller retail and restaurant units.

5590 Victoria Drive Vancouver Vancity Social Housing

Artistic rendering of social housing and a new Vancity branch at 5590 Victoria Drive, Vancouver. (Catalyst Community Developments Society/HCMA Architecture & Design)

5590 Victoria Drive Vancouver Vancity Social Housing

Location of social housing and a new Vancity branch at 5590 Victoria Drive, Vancouver. (Catalyst Community Developments Society/HCMA Architecture & Design)

The credit union’s branch has temporarily relocated to a nearby site to allow for the future construction project.

“The efficiency of the L plan works well with respect to the challenges of the Social Housing proforma,” reads the design rationale of HCMA Architecture.

“The L shape maximizes the surface area relative to its volume allowing all habitable rooms to have an open aspect together with the most efficient floor plate for this particular site that has three open sides and a shared property line on the north side.”

A single underground level will accommodate 25 vehicle parking stalls — including one carshare space — and 145 bike parking spaces.

The building’s total floor area is 47,158 sq. ft. for a floor area ratio density of 3.37 times the size of the 12,809 sq. ft. lot.

Vancity is providing a 99-year land lease to the non-profit developer. The project is expected to carry a construction cost of over $20 million.

5590 Victoria Drive Vancouver Vancity Social Housing

Artistic rendering of social housing and a new Vancity branch at 5590 Victoria Drive, Vancouver. (Catalyst Community Developments Society/HCMA Architecture & Design)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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