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East Vancouver tower proposal revised again, this time with 100% rental units – BC

East Vancouver tower proposal revised again, this time with 100% rental units - BC
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A set of towers proposed for at the site of a Safeway grocery store near East Broadway and Commercial Drive has been revised to make 100 per cent of its 981 units rentals.

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The Broadway Commercial project now proposes towers that are 35, 36 and 39 storeys in height, containing 882 market-rate rentals and 99 below-market rentals. The complex would also include 50,000 square feet of retail and work space, including a new Safeway, hundreds of parking stalls, and about 5,000 square feet dedicated to child care.

It’s a stark contrast with its 2019 iteration. In that rezoning application, the builder proposed towers 24, 27 and 30-storeys high, containing 520 strata homes and 160 market rental homes. The proposal did not include childcare space or below-market units.

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“This seems like a big step in the right direction,” said Riley Wood of Abundant Housing Vancouver, a group that advocates for a more diverse housing stock in the city.

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“I have some older neighbours, you know, in single-family homes who maybe aren’t so happy about this, but the younger people I talked to, they all want this. They want more homes near transit.”


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The new 1780 East Broadway proposal puts it at odds with one part of the vision outlined in the city’s Grandview-Woodland Community Plan. That document outlines a goal to create a new “social heart” for the neighbourhood by building a new civic plaza at the renewed Safeway site, with towers no more than 24 storeys high.


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That’s 15 storeys lower than the tallest proposed Broadway Commercial tower. However, the city’s 30-year Broadway Plan envisions dense towers up to 40 storeys high near its rapid transit stations.

Craig Ollenberger of the Grandview Woodland Area Council said he appreciates that the project has switched over to 100-per cent rental units, but that’s only “useful” if it’s affordable.

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“We need affordable rental. We don’t need more luxury suites. That’s not a benefit (to) anybody,” he told Global News.

“I think think we’ve got an opportunity here for some great city-making, but the community needs a public plaza that really unites this whole area into a new and diverse, dense community. Right now, it’s a real missed opportunity as all we get is a big box suburban grocery store (that) takes up the whole site.”


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According to the city’s website, the project was referred to a public hearing in June of 2022. The rezoning application page for 1780 East Broadway, however, does not appear to contain an application that shows the same tower details as the Broadway Commercial website.

The revised November 2021 application, the latest version that’s available on the municipal site, states that the project will feature towers between 24 and 29 storeys high, with 438 mixed strata and rental units. It’s unclear when the newest revision of the Broadway Commercial proposal will hit city council’s agenda.

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Peter Meiszner, city councillor, said denser housing is a priority for the city near public transit, particularly the multi-billion-dollar Broadway Subway Project.

“We need to build housing yesterday, there’s no doubt about that, and we’re working as hard as we can to speed things up in terms of the city processes and things that we have control over,” Meiszner said.

“So we are trying to clear the way, and the province is doing some important work as well with their transit-oriented development legislation, which is going to give a helping hand to cities in terms of funding for staff to do that work to speed up these processes.”

The project proponents, Perkins and Will, Westbank, and Crombie REIT, say the complex will re-wild the area through its landscaping and use a low-carbon district energy system to target a CaGBC Zero Carbon Building Certification.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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