Taller towers for more rental homes proposed for Pearson Dogwood in Vancouver

Mar 10 2020, 3:20 pm

Plans for the Pearson Doogwood redevelopment on the Cambie Street Corridor in Vancouver could be overhauled to allow for a significant addition of rental housing.

Local developer Onni Group intends on submitting a rezoning application to add 254,643 sq. ft. of rental housing to the 25-acre redevelopment.

This additional rental housing density would be accomplished by increasing the number of floors of approximately eight buildings, including some of the tallest towers on the site.

Under existing zoning, the tallest buildings in the redevelopment are located at the northeast corner of the site – near the intersection of Cambie Street and West 57th Avenue – reaching up to 299 ft with 28 storeys.

pearson dogwood onni group vancouver

Proposed plans for additional height and converted uses to accommodate additional rental housing uses at the Pearson Dogwood redevelopment. (Onni Group / Marpole Matters)

Additional rental housing will be created from the conversion of two condominium buildings: a 26-storey tower in the northeast quadrant facing West 57th Avenue and a six-storey building in the southeast quadrant facing West 59th Avenue. This includes dedicating 25% of the units in these converted spaces as below-market rental housing.

Few details are available at this time as the proposed revised master plan is still in its early stages. Onni plans on submitting a rezoning application following receiving feedback from a pre-application community open house on March 12, from 5 to 8 pm, at its on-site presentation centre at 788 West 57th Avenue.

500 West 57th Avenue Vancouver Pearson Dogwood

Existing approved layout of 500 West 57th Avenue, Vancouver, the Pearson Dogwood redevelopment. (Onni Group)

650 West 57th Avenue vancouver pearson Dogwood Complex Residential Care

Artistic rendering of the new Dogwood Complex Residential Care Complex on the Pearson Dogwood site at 650 West 57th Avenue, Vancouver. (dys Architecture / Vancouver Coastal Health)

Pearson Dogwood is already underway in various stages, depending on the parcel. The Cambie Gardens phase within the southeast quadrant is on the market, and some development applications for other parcels are currently under the city’s consideration.

The proposed additional rental density amounts to an 8% increase in the total floor area of the entire 3.23-million-sq-ft redevelopment. This includes 2.27 million sq. ft. of market housing, 428,000 sq. ft. of affordable housing, 120,700 sq. ft. of supportive housing, 131,300 sq. ft. of neighbourhood-serving retail, 177,500 sq. ft. of healthcare facilities, 86,300 sq. ft. of community and recreational facility space, and 14,000 sq. ft. of daycare space. The residential component under existing city policies allows for about 3,000 homes.

The various supportive housing and healthcare facilities will be largely operated by Vancouver Coastal Health, replacing the health authority’s antiquated on-site facilities.

Significant public parks and open spaces are incorporated into this redevelopment, as well as a $20-million contribution towards a potential future additional Canada Line station at West 57th Avenue. The closest SkyTrain station serving the new density of both the Pearson Dogwood and Langara Gardens developments is Langara-49th Avenue Station.

7433 Cambie Street Pearson Dogwood

Artistic rendering of the first phase of the Pearson Dogwood redevelopment at 7433 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (IBI Group Architects / Onni Group)

500 West 57th Avenue Vancouver Pearson Dogwood

Artistic rendering of 500 West 57th Avenue, Vancouver, the Pearson Dogwood redevelopment. (IBI Group / Pearson Dogwood)

But proceeding with the substantial condominium component of the project over the short-to-medium term could prove to be a challenge given the current real estate downturn and economic uncertainty, which has forced many developers of concrete condominium developments to delay their project launches.

A new emphasis on rental housing from both additional and converted floor area would perform better in current market conditions and could be seen favourably by the municipal government given the use’s alignment with the rental housing goals of the Cambie Corridor Plan and the broader 10-year Housing Vancouver targets. The secured market rental vacancy rate in Vancouver remains low at about 1%.