Purpose-Built Rental Housing

A controversial West End tower proposal is back in city council chambers this week, as a public hearing takes place nearly two years after the project was put on hold.

City staff say the revised rezoning and development permit application for 1401 Comox Street contains “significant changes” from the original proposal, including a reduced height from 216 feet to 200 feet, a repositioned building to reduce shadowing effects on surrounding areas, and a larger green space for public use.

But some of the West End residents that spoke against the proposal during the first night of the public hearing Monday (June 11) evening argued the changes won’t appease community concerns.

City staff, who are recommending approval of the project, say the 22-storey, 186-unit rental building proposed for 1401 Comox Street would generate purpose-built rental apartments in a neighbourhood where such units have not been built for decades. The project was originally submitted in 2009 under the STIR (Short-Term Incentives for Rental) program.

Developer Ian Gillespie of Westbank Projects Corp. said rental housing in the area “has to replenished.”

“There really hasn’t been anything in the last 20, 30 years,” he told council during a presentation.

Architect Gregory Henriquez described the market rental units as fitting “right in the middle of the housing continuum.”

“They’re a meaningful addition to our housing stock,” he said.

According to city staff, the purpose-built rental units are intended to provide “an affordable alternative to homeownership” and are targeted at moderate income households. Housing policy planner Dan Garrison said moderate income, as defined by the city’s task force on housing affordability, is considered as between $21,500 to $86,500.

Continue reading “West End Tower Proposal Returns To Vancouver City Hall During Public Hearing” by Yolande Cole at the Georgia Straight.

[Top Image: Gregory Henriquez and Ian Gillespie address Vancouver city council. Photo by Yolande Cole.]


June 18, 2012 | No Comments (yet!)

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