A redevelopment site on Pacific Street is listed for a 300-foot-tall tower.

A prominent property on Pacific Street in Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood has just been advertised for redevelopment.

The property at 1065 Pacific Street, near the northeast corner with Thurlow Street, is being marketed by Goodman Commercial. The 13,000 sq ft site is now occupied by a three-story structure with 30 residential units that was completed in 1963.

Based on the city’s West End Community Plan (WECP) allowances for Area G of the Burrard Street Corridor, the asking price is $18.95 million. The property is valued at around $19.6 million, with $45,000 for the structure and the rest for the land, according to the most recent assessment.

The site can accommodate a residential tower height of up to 300 feet under the WECP, with mountain view cone height limits not an issue in this case. To maximise views and sunlight on sidewalks, Area G limits floor plate sizes above the podium levels to no more than 5,500 sq ft.

This property’s unique home tenure flexibility is also subject to a time limit. In late 2020, Vancouver City Council approved a temporary flexibility policy that allows developers and property owners in two multi-block areas along Thurlow Street within the Burrard Street Corridor to construct developments with 100% secured rental housing and a below-market rental housing component. This is an a

lternative to the WECP’s need to construct skyscrapers with condominium usage and a social housing component.

This flexibility was granted on the advice of city staff at the time, as a growing number of rezoning applications in these two areas had stalled due to the poor economics of condominium projects as a result of depressed market conditions, as well as the already-committed high land acquisition costs. A project that included condominium uses would have to offer considerable levels of community amenity contributions (CACs) to the city, in addition to the modest revenue that can be expected from social housing. However, CACs are not necessary for rental property, which has a bigger revenue potential than social housing. At the end of 2022, the temporary flexibility for applications proposing rental homes will expire.

Several previously stalled condominium tower proposals in the two areas, such as Bosa Properties’ sites immediately to the north on the east side of the intersection of Harwood Street and Thurlow Street — 1065 Harwood Street and 1332 Thurlow Street, and 1066-1078 Harwood Street — have already been revised as rental housing projects. Bosa’s rezoned application calls for two 316-foot-tall, 34-story towers with 575 secured purpose-built rental houses, including 113 below-market rental homes.

Further north on Thurlow Street, Bosa’s previous plans to rebuild 1070 Barclay Street into two Jenga-like buildings with condominiums and social housing, designed by German architectural company Buro Ole Scheeren, would be scrapped due to a pending updated rezoning proposal. A new design will propose 100% rentals under the temporary flexibility.

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