The Neighborhood is undergoing a tremendous transformation in the next 10 years. Over the past decade, the general area of the intersection of West Georgia Street and Cardero Street, within a two block radius, has become a major cluster for high-calibre architecture by international design firms.
Located only a block from one of the best urban parks in the world, Stanley Park, the parcel of land under 1723 Alberni is well situated to take advantage of the various amenities the area has to offer, including some of the best restaurants, waterfront, and sea wall.
Below are some of the projects being built in the immediate vicinity of the 1700 block of Alberni St.
Proposed and Approved Projects
Refer to the map below as you learn about the new developments slated to be built in the immediate neighborhood.
Alberni by Kengo Kuma
1550 Alberni St. (Under Construction)
Another architectural gem proposed for the Georgia Street corridor in downtown Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood could help shake off Vancouver’s reputation of having an urban jungle of bland architecture.
Renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has designed a slender 40-storey residential tower for the site, which was purchased by Westbank in 2016 at a cost of $47 million.
‘Carved deductions’ are one of the tower’s most prominent proposed architectural features, with the building’s sections sculpted and hollowed out on the lower half of the northeast corner and upper half of the southwest corner.
The facade of the tower will be just as striking with the use of a combination of glass and polished anodized aluminum that will provide the structure with an almost chequered appearance.
A total of 188 residential units are proposed for the building, with many units within the carved deductions possessing substantially sized patios or what project proponents have termed as ‘open gardens’. Interior materials will include the heavy use of wood and bamboo.
Retail space and a restaurant will be located at the tower’s foot, along with a highly unique public amenity – a ground-level Japanese moss garden within a hollowed section of the building, with water and natural features built along the face of an amphitheatre-like, cascading plateau.
This building is currently under construction at the corner of Cardero and Alberni St.
Exoskeleton Tower by Bing Thom
1668 / 1684 Alberni St. (Application Under Review)
Another tower with an impressive architectural flair has been proposed for Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood.
Local developer Westbank has submitted a rezoning application to the City of Vancouver to build a 39-storey market residential tower with a six-storey podium at 1668-1684 Alberni Street, the southwest corner of Alberni Street and Bidwell Street – just north of Robson Street.
Under the West End Community Plan the tower’s height is limited to only 385 ft, but it still achieves a relatively high density of 10.7 FSR. Site preparation will necessitate the demolition of two buildings that currently occupy the property.
The proposal falls under the West End Community Plan and calls for 94 residential units, including 55 units with three bedrooms designed for larger families.
To support the residents, there will be 180 vehicle parking stalls and 120 bike parking stalls within four levels of underground parking.
According to Bing Thom Architects, the local firm responsible for the project’s design, the form of the development represents a ‘weave’ or ‘exoskeleton’ and takes cues from structures that also take repetition in nature.
View more about the rezoning application here: https://shapeyourcity.ca/1668-1684-alberni-st
Twin New York Style Towers
1468 Alberni St. (Application Approved)
An entire city block in downtown Vancouver’s West End will be demolished and replaced with two residential towers that provide the city centre with a highly unique faux-heritage architectural flair that also achieves a new green standard.
Earlier this week, Vancouver City Council approved a rezoning application by Landa Global Properties and Asia Standard Americas to redevelop 1468 Alberni Street into two residential towers reaching 442 ft (48 storeys) and 405 ft (43 storeys).
View cones crossing through the site do not permit taller heights. Both towers are connected at the base by a multi-storey central podium.
The development site, spanning an area of over 43,000-sq-ft, is framed by Alberni Street to the north, Nicola Street to the west, Broughton Street to the east, and the laneway north of Robson to the south. The site is currently occupied by the 70s-built apartment and office buildings.
The project is designed by New York-based Robert AM Stern Architects, with local firm MCM Partnership acting as the architect of record.
“The proposed design celebrates the diverse architectural styles in the city and provides a unique contrast to the Vancouverism style of glass towers,” reads the architect’s design rationale.
“A key material element that is unique in contemporary Vancouver high-rise design is the use of limestone cladding on the whole project – providing a direct link between the proposal and the historic Vancouver architectural icons from which it draws its inspiration. This materials strategy of quality and authenticity is carried forward into the other major materials such as granite accents, rubbed bronze spandrels and steel details.”
Additionally, the developers have called this project the tallest Passive House towers in the world. They will be built to a rigorous German building standard that drastically improves the building’s energy efficiency and comfort while also reducing its ecological footprint.
This application has been approved. View more details here: https://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/1444alberni_740nicola/index.htm
1640-1650 Alberni St
(Application Under Review)
There are now new details and illustrations of the proposal to build a new mixed-use residential tower on the site of 1640-1650 Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood, on the edge with Coal Harbour.
Earlier this year, developers Landa Global Properties and Asia Standard Americas held a pre-application open house for the project, which seeks to demolish a 1969-built, 15-storey building with 66 rental units and three levels of office.
The site is located mid-block between Cardero Street and Bidwell Street, just across from the West Georgia Street development sites of the White Spot restaurant and the former Chevron gas station, and next to the 43-storey Alberni by Kengo Kuma and near Revery Architecture’s 39-storey exoskeleton tower.
The proposal calls for a new 385-ft-tall, 43-storey tower with a five-storey podium to create 197 market condominium units and 66 replacement market rental homes.
The unit mix is 48 one-bedroom units, 107 two-bedroom units, and 42 three-bedroom units within the condominium tower, and 37 studio units, six one-bedroom units, and 23 two-bedroom units for rental housing within the podium.
Although it does not create a new peak in the skyline, the building seeks to be an architectural standout in an area that is already clustered with some of Vancouver’s most unique designs.
For more information visit the application page here: https://shapeyourcity.ca/1640-1650-alberni-st
Tree Inspired Towers
728 Bidwell / 1728 Alberni St. (Proposed)
Heatherwick Studio is behind a tree-inspired mixed-use redevelopment with two towers in downtown Vancouver’s West End, with the goal of breaking Vancouver’s longstanding conventional form of glass towers.
The renowned architectural firm, based in London, UK, is responsible for notable designs such as the London 2012 Olympic Cauldron, the new Routemaster double-decker bus for Transport For London, and the Vessel in New York City.
The project is now coming to light as Bosa Properties and Kingswood Properties have submitted a rezoning application for their land assembly at 1728 Alberni Street and 735 Bidwell Street — the southwest corner of the intersection of Alberni Street and Bidwell Street.
The proposal calls for a 385-ft-tall, 34-storey west tower and a 345-ft-tall, 30-storey east tower with 401 condominium homes. The unit mix is 12 studios, 160 one-bedroom units, 199 two-bedroom units, and 30 units with at least three bedrooms.
Residents will have access to various amenity spaces, including a 15,000-sq-ft amenity space — such as a swimming pool, fitness rooms, and residential lounge — in the upper levels of the podium.
Within the first two levels of the building, there will be 14,700 sq ft of retail and restaurant space and a 4,100-sq-ft childcare facility with a capacity for up to 24 children.
The redevelopment’s total floor area is 423,428 sq. ft., creating a floor space ratio density of 10.88 times the size of the 39,000 sq. ft. lot. Seven underground levels will provide 524 vehicle parking stalls and 524 bike parking spaces.
This is the latest project for the area in and around the northwest corner of the West End neighbourhood, near its border with Coal Harbour. Higher density forms are permitted in this area under the city’s West End Community Plan.
1698 West Georgia
Nearly two years after it acquired the property for $72 million, local developer Anthem Properties submitted a rezoning application to turn the former Chevron gas station site on West Georgia at the border of the West End and Coal Harbour districts into a new residential building.
The proposal calls for a 326-ft-tall, 33-storey tower at 1698 West Georgia Street — the southeast corner of the intersection of West Georgia Street and Bidwell Street. There would be 127 residential strata units, with the unit mix consisting of one studio unit, 24 one-bedroom units, 71 two-bedroom units, and 31 three-bedroom units.
“The facade design takes inspiration from the fine textures on the mountain rocks, made by numerous facets and cracks,” reads the architect’s design rationale. “Gently twisting in profile, subtly varying in colour, the uniquely designed vertical facade fins help break up the monotony and the severity of an all-glass tower and create a dynamic facade that animates the building through different views and angles of sunlight.”
While recently approved it was not without some controversy regarding is reduced height of 326 feet. City staff mandated the proponents to cut the tower’s allowable height of 385 ft — as prescribed by the city’s West End Community Plan — to 326 ft, amounting to a reduction of 59 ft or about six storeys. This was done to reduce the shadowing on Marina Square Park, located about 160 ft to the north of the tower site.
In his closing comments, the Mayor said he had prepared a motion to send the proposal back to city staff for reconsideration for additional height, but ultimately decided not to as it would add to delays on what has already been a lengthy review process for the proponents. “I do agree with some of the callers that we only have so many opportunities to densify downtown, and this would’ve been a good one,” said Stewart. “I’m hopeful that in the future, if we have choices to make like this, we don’t take the policy as law, which it isn’t, and that staff would consult with local residents through the regular process to see if there would be any flexibility in the application of the shadowing policies… I worry about missing opportunities.”
Additional density through height would have also served to provide more public benefits to the West End.
New York City-based Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), with Chris Dikeakos Architects as the architect of record, is behind the design of the tower. KPF’s past work includes the new 5 World Trade Centre tower in NYC and International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong.
You can read more about the application here: https://shapeyourcity.ca/1698-w-georgia-st
1608-1616 West Georgia
(Application under Review)
There is a new and improved design for the significant redevelopment of the White Spot restaurant property on West Georgia Street on the border of the West End and Coal Harbour areas.
A newly-submitted rezoning application for the two-third block sized parcel at 1608-1616 West Georgia Street shows two residential towers with a height reaching up to 385 ft with 38 storeys.
The redevelopment is being pursued by China-based property owner Carnival International Holdings Ltd., which acquired the site for $245 million from Shato Holdings, owned by BC’s Toigo family, in 2017.
The new architectural concept is by Connecticut-based Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, which notably designed Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers, London’s One Canada Square, Hong Kong’s IFC, New York City’s World Financial Center, San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower and Transbay Transit Centre, and the original design of the Eatons Centre building in downtown Vancouver, — now Nordstrom — and the major corporate offices of Microsoft and Sony Pictures Imageworks. IBI Group is also involved in the project as the architect of record.
The proposal calls for 455 strata residential units, with 200 located in each of the towers, and 55 within a four-storey podium that connects the two towers.
Height limitations restrict the project from being twin towers; three view cones cross through the site, and the western tower’s rooftop structure is restrained to reduce the shadowing on some of the perimeter trees on Marina Square Park, located one block north of the development site.
The redevelopment’s landscaping is described as a “tower on podium” or “tower in the park.” Overhead bridges span the courtyard to connect the podiums and towers.
Overall, the project calls for 433,657-sq-ft of total floor area on its 41,570-sq-ft site, providing the redevelopment with a floor space ratio density of 9.6 times the size of the lot.
For more information on the application click here: https://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/1608-1616WGeorgia/index.htm
1550 West Georgia St. (Presales About to Begin)
In a recent vote, Vancouver City Council unanimously approved the so-called ‘Jenga tower’ at the corner of West Georgia Street and Nicola Street in the West End.
The proposal at 1500 West Georgia Street by Bosa Properties and Kingswood Capital was designed by world-renowned German architect Ole Scheeren, who also designed the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing.
It will share the site of Crown Life Place – the existing Rhone and Iredale-designed triangular office building, which will remain.
There will be 220 market residential units, a retail space on the ground floor, and seven levels of underground parking for 342 parking stalls, including stalls for the existing office building.
The existing large reflecting pool and waterfall feature will be reconfigured and improved as part of the redevelopment.
The residential tower project was initially proposed in 2015 as a 500-ft-tall, 51-storey tower, but it was later scaled back to 440 ft with 43 storeys due to view cones that restrict the development site’s height. The floor space ratio (FSR) density has been reduced from 11.47 to 10.82 FSR.
Application was approved February 2020.
For more information click here: https://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/1500wgeorgia_ta/index.htm
1450 West Georgia
(Application under Review)
Local developer Wesgroup Properties has partnered with Yamamoto Architecture to redevelop 1450 West Georgia Street — the southeast corner of the intersection — into a new mixed-use building.
The half-block site is currently occupied by an aging, 1955-built, 25-storey building with 162 rental units.
The proposal calls for a new 49-storey residential tower reaching a height of about 500 ft, extending approximately 61 ft into the bottom of the Queen Elizabeth Park view cone. About 349 new homes will be created, with 162 replacement units of rental housing within the lower floors of the building and 187 units of market ownership units within the upper portion.
The unit mix is 51 studio units, 140 one-bedroom units, 139 two-bedroom units, and 19 three-bedroom units.
Residents will have access to various amenity spaces, such as a lower-floor swimming pool and a mid-tower, high-ceiling amenity level with both indoor and outdoor spaces.
There will also be 3,000 sq. ft. of ground-level retail space and 309 vehicle parking spaces within underground levels.
As for the tower’s overall design, the architects have imagined a tower inspired by the trunk of a tree, with balconies adding to this appearance by ‘forming the branches or roots’.
Balconies will be constructed using a unique independent balcony structure method, which will improve the building’s insulation and minimize the transfer of cold air into the building.
Roughly 280,000 sq. ft. of floor area will be produced, providing the project with a floor space ratio density of 13.82 times the size of its lot.
For more information click here: https://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/1450wgeorgia/index.htm
Flat Iron Tower
1445 / 1455 W. Georgia St (Application Postponed)
1445 & 1455 West Georgia St. is a unique and prominent site, which has been identified by the City of Vancouver for consideration as a higher building site, providing a western landmark gateway to downtown.
However, the development team behind a flat iron-like tower for a triangular site near the intersection of West Georgia Street and West Pender Street has put their project on hold.
Brilliant Circle Group’s rezoning application for its proposal to build a 46-storey, 514-ft-tall residential tower at 1445-1455 West Georgia Street was withdrawn from the list of applications that were scheduled to go through a public hearing.
According to project architect James Cheng, there is every intention to continue with the rezoning, but certain aspects of the proposal – specifically the level of community amenity contributions (CAC) in exchange for the type and level of density – are being re-evaluated due to fluctuating residential market conditions.
“We are not withdrawing the project from the rezoning process, we are only withdrawing our current application so that we can have a better understanding of the current changing market demands in relation to the current CAC valuation,” Cheng said.
As for Brilliant Circle Group’s tower proposal, which is partially inspired by the form of an obelisk, it called for 119 homes, a total floor area of 261,721-sq-ft, and 228 vehicle parking stalls. The Floor Space Ratio is 14.4 and the building height is 514 feet tall.
“Our approach to the design for this site focuses on two key components; creating a bold tower statement and strengthening the public realm… [It] is a special site on Vancouver’s most prominent ceremonial streets and merits a fitting solution as a gateway site,” said Cheng.
For more information on the proposal please visit: https://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/1445-1455wgeorgia/index.htm