Condo and office towers with youth centre approved at Oakridge-41st Avenue Station

Dec 29 2021, 11:28 pm

Oakridge Municipal Town Centre’s future continues to take shape with Vancouver City Council’s recent approval of a sizeable mixed-use project at 5812-5844 Cambie Street.

This is a redevelopment of the city block on the west side of Cambie Street between West 42nd Avenue and West 43rd Avenue, replacing a 1950-built, single-storey commercial building. The site is just across from Oakridge Centre mall, and next to SkyTrain’s Oakridge-41st Avenue Station and stops for the R4 RapidBus.

Aligning with the Cambie Corridor Plan’s framework for the property, there will be a 330-ft-tall, 33-storey condominium tower and a 150-ft-tall, 12-storey office tower, including a four-storey podium.

5812-5844 Cambie Street Vancouver

Site of 5812-5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (City of Vancouver)

5812-5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver

Site of 5812-5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

The podium contains a portion of the total office area of 106,000 sq ft, along with a two-storey youth centre with about 6,000 sq ft of floor area with its own high-profile entrance facing West 43rd Avenue — where a significant building setback also allows for a 3,300 sq ft south public plaza. The youth centre includes a large lounge, multi-purpose spaces, and a kitchen.

Within the office tower’s fifth level, there will be a 5,200 sq ft childcare facility for up to 37 kids, with associated outdoor play space on the rooftop of the podium.

Both the youth centre and childcare facility will be built to a turnkey state, under the ownership of the municipal government.

Both NPA councillor Melissa De Genova and independent councillor Lisa Dominato expressed a need to carefully plan the youth centre and select the non-profit operator, starting with a process to consult with youth.

An amendment by Dominato to “ensure there is consultation with youth on the development of a youth space, as they often don’t have a voice in the conversations on their needs” was passed unanimously.

5812-5844 Cambie Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 5812-5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (IBI Group/Vivagrand Developments)

5812-5844 Cambie Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 5812-5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (IBI Group/Vivagrand Developments)

While the area will gain a major new additional community centre as part of the Oakridge Centre mall redevelopment, which offers recreational, social, and cultural activities and services, a non-profit youth-serving social service centre is deemed as a hub for meeting the diverse needs of youth — such as employment support, skills training, food programs, wellness and counselling services, and community opportunities and support. The need for such a facility in this particular area is stipulated by the Cambie Corridor Plan.

“I think it’s something that’s been talked about a lot. I think it’s important that we create these spaces, and I know in past master planning that we’ve done at the city, youth centres are always the first to go or first to get eliminated, and so I really appreciate staff making sure that we deliver on the amendment needs that are part of the community amenity plan that the public put together,” said Green Party councillor Michael Wiebe.

5812-5844 Cambie Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 5812-5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (IBI Group/Vivagrand Developments)

5812-5844 Cambie Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 5812-5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (IBI Group/Vivagrand Developments)

5812-5844 Cambie Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 5812-5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (IBI Group/Vivagrand Developments)

City council approved the rezoning application in a 5-2 vote, with COPE councillor Jean Swanson and TEAM councillor Colleen Hardwick opposed. Mayor Kennedy Stewart and councillors Pete Fry, Rebecca Bligh, and Sarah Kirby-Yung were absent from the vote.

“I’m really upset by the lack of affordability around the Oakridge Centre and in the Cambie Corridor,” said Swanson in her explanation opposing the project, adding that the homes generated by this project will be “for people at the upper end of the income spectrum.” Over the years, Swanson has criticized the lack of a major affordable housing component in the Cambie Corridor Plan, and has consistently voted against strata and market rental housing applications.

This project will contain 268 condominium homes, with a unit mix of 187 one-bedroom units, 54 two-bedroom units, and 27 three-bedroom units.

5812-5844 Cambie Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 5812-5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver in the context of future area developments in Oakridge Town Centre. (IBI Group/Vivagrand Developments)

5812-5844 Cambie Street Vancouver

Model of 5812-5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Vivagrand Developments)

5812-5844 Cambie Street Vancouver

Model of 5812-5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Vivagrand Developments)

5812-5844 Cambie Street Vancouver

Model of 5812-5844 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Vivagrand Developments)

The incorporation of a substantial condominium component provides the municipal government with a substantial public benefits package worth a total of about $25.7 million. In exchange for the density and market uses, Vivagrand Developments will provide $17 million in community amenity contributions (CACs), including the in-kind value of $8 million for the youth centre and $6.5 million for the childcare facility, plus a $2.5 million cash CAC. The developer is also required to provide $8 million in development cost levies (DCLs) and $628,000 in public art.

The building’s total floor area will reach 317,000 sq ft, creating a floor area ratio density of a floor area that is 10.16 times larger than the size of the 32,000 sq ft lot. Four underground levels will contain 313 vehicle parking stalls and 622 secure bike parking spaces. IBI Group is the architectural design firm.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

+ News
+ Architecture & Design
+ Development
+ Urbanized
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT