City Council to consider 55-storey gateway tower for Granville Bridge (RENDERINGS)

Sep 28 2020, 12:46 pm

Vancouver City Council is scheduled to make a decision Wednesday on the rezoning application for a 535-ft-tall, 55-storey, mixed-use tower at the northern end of Granville Street Bridge.

This is a reconvening of the public hearing that began on September 17, when city council listened to public speakers.

The proposal for 601 Beach Crescent — located immediately east of the Seymour Street off-ramp — by Pinnacle International would develop the second city-designated landmark gateway tower site for the bridge, under the Higher Buildings Policy. It will complement the adjacent 495-ft-tall Vancouver House.

“The Higher Buildings Policy did not identify a maximum density on this site although it was expected that significant additional density would be accommodated on the large site in a much higher form,” states city staff in a report.

601 Beach Crescent

2019 artistic rendering of 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (Joym Architecture/GBL Architects/Pinnacle International)

601 Beach Crescent

Skyline view of 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (Joym Architecture/GBL Architects/Pinnacle International)

Mountain view cones only scrape through the property’s northeast corner, but there will be no impact as the tower is situated closer to the southwest corner. There will be some impact on the area’s public spaces from tower shadowing.

“This height will relate well to Vancouver House while accommodating sculpting of the tower crown to achieve urban design objectives including creating a significant visual contribution to the city’s skyline,” reads the city staff report.

601 Beach Crescent

Skyline view of 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (Joym Architecture/GBL Architects/Pinnacle International)

601 Beach Crescent

Skyline view of 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (Joym Architecture/GBL Architects/Pinnacle International)

601 Beach Crescent

Skyline view of 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (Joym Architecture/GBL Architects/Pinnacle International)

601 Beach Crescent

Skyline view of 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (Joym Architecture/GBL Architects/Pinnacle International)

601 Beach Crescent view once

View cone map and 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (City of Vancouver)

The project is designed by Shanghai-based Jyom Architecture and local firm GBL Architects, with the form and facade said to be inspired by the dancing movement of a dress. The curvilinear tower rises from an eight-storey, L-shaped podium.

“The tower massing aims to respond spatially to the silhouette of the Vancouver House to further enliven this bridgehead entry to the downtown peninsula,” continues city staff.

“Moreover, the asymmetric curvature of the carving, the transparent treatment of the facades, and the canted roof that will result from the proposed design conditions are all meant to contrast the orthogonality, solidity and flat roof of the Vancouver House, ultimately establishing a level of contrast necessary to the dynamic interplay between these two towers.”

In 2016, the municipal government sold the property to Pinnacle International for a base acquisition price of $20 million, and as part of the deal at least $44.5 million will be spent on constructing 152 affordable housing units on behalf of the municipal government.

On top of all that, the developer agreed to further payments on an incremental scale, with the amount determined by the approved size of the project. For instance, the municipal government will receive an additional $73 million if the build-able floor area is 200,000 sq. ft. and $127.75 million if it is 350,000 sq. ft.

601 Beach Crescent

2019 artistic rendering of 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (Joym Architecture/GBL Architects/Pinnacle International)

The rezoning application up for consideration calls for 455 homes, including 303 condominiums in the tower and 152 social housing units in the upper levels of the podium, following the agreement with the city. Some of these units will be townhouses along Seymour Mews.

The condominium unit mix is 101 one-bedroom units, eight one-bedroom units with a den, 126 two-bedroom units, five two-bedroom units with a den, and 69 three-bedroom units, while the social housing unit mix is 20 studios, 77 one-bedroom units, 30 two-bedroom units, and 25 three-bedroom units.

At least 30% of the social housing units will be rented at BC Housing’s housing income limits — rental rates of no more than 30% of household income. It will target households with incomes of between $15,000 and $68,000 annually. The remaining social housing units will be designated for low-end-of-market rates for low to moderate incomes. The city will own the social housing units and select a non-profit housing operator.

Building residents will have access to over 7,000 sq. ft. of indoor amenity space, and an outdoor amenity space on the podium rooftop and other terraces.

601 Beach Crescent

2019 artistic rendering of 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (Joym Architecture/GBL Architects/Pinnacle International)

601 Beach Crescent

2019 artistic rendering of 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (Joym Architecture/GBL Architects/Pinnacle International)

There will be about 25,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, mainly as retail at ground level along Rolston Street and Beach Crescent. New public spaces, activated by retail, underneath the Seymour Street off-ramp will complement the newly created public spaces and retail edge of Vancouver House for the underside of the main bridge structure and Howe Street on-ramp.

Three underground levels will contain 387 vehicle parking stalls and 920 bike parking spaces.

The proposed floor space ratio density is 7.57 times the size of the 1.43-acre lot, creating 470,889 sq. ft. of total floor area, including 324,889 sq. ft. of condominium space and 121,128 sq. ft. of social housing space.

If approved, the developer will provide the city with $12.1 million for the community amenity contribution. The social housing component has an in-kind value worth of $66 million, and there is a further contribution of $692,527 for public art, bringing the total value of public benefits to $78.8 million.

601 Beach Crescent Vancouver

October 2019 artistic rendering of 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (Jyom Architecture / GBL Architects / Pinnacle International)

601 Beach Crescent

2019 artistic rendering of 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (Joym Architecture/GBL Architects/Pinnacle International)

601 Beach Crescent

2019 artistic rendering of 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (Joym Architecture/GBL Architects/Pinnacle International)

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