City Council Approves 39-Story Tower Above South Granville SkyTrain Station

Following a three-night public hearing earlier this month, the Vancouver City Council greenlit a proposal to build a major mixed-use tower with rental housing, retail and office uses directly above the future South Granville Station. from Skytrain.

The vote on PCI Developments’ rezoning application took place Tuesday morning, with the city council voting 9-2. TEAM Councilor Colleen Hardwick and COPE Councilor Jean Swanson objected.

The 39-story, 407-foot tower will be located at 1477 West Broadway, the northeast corner of the intersection of Granville Street and West Broadway. This high rise is possible as the neighborhood is not affected by Queen Elizabeth Park’s protected mountain view cone, which will allow for some of the tallest buildings under the upcoming Broadway Plan.

This will be the tallest new building within Central Broadway, surpassing the height of Vancouver General Hospital and other future towers in the area, and will enable the only fully integrated station in one building following the opening of the Millennium Line Broadway Extension to end of 2025.

1477 west broadway vancouver south granville station pci tower developments

Artist’s rendering of the concept tower over the future South Granville Station at 1477 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Association/PCI Developments)

1477 west broadway vancouver south granville station pci tower developments

Artist’s rendering of the concept tower over the future South Granville Station at 1477 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Association/PCI Developments)

Construction is currently well underway on the project for the five-story retail and office concept previously approved through a development permit application under existing zoning. The current construction is designed in a way that allows significant vertical extension to allow for substantially higher density and mixed uses, which has now been approved and reduces the construction window and impacts to the area.

“The need to continue to progress our development is becoming more acute as the South Granville Station approaches opening in 2025. By supporting the rezoning now, you are facilitating the smooth and successful completion of the South Granville Station, the station fully integrated into the Broadway Subway, which faces many challenges and limitations given the busy intersection and transit node,” Tim Grant, president of PCI Developments, told City Council this morning before the vote.

“Delaying a development decision today will exacerbate our ability to complete our work on the South Granville Station, compromise an already complex public-private partnership development and infrastructure, and prolong the challenges for transit users, pedestrians, local businesses and vehicle traffic, and extending the challenging conditions experienced during COVID and subway construction.”

1477 west broadway vancouver south granville station pci tower developments

Artist’s rendering of the concept tower over the future South Granville Station at 1477 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Association/PCI Developments)

In addition to concerns from neighborhood residents about the tower’s perceived excess height and density, the shadowing of the buildings, the changing character of the area, possible traffic increases, and additional pressure on parks, public services, community members and area schools, the proposal drew criticism for being considered before the completion of the Broadway Plan, which will be decided by the city council next month through another public hearing.

During deliberations this morning, the City Council rejected an amendment proposed by TEAM Councilwoman Colleen Hardwick to defer and postpone the decision. Echoing public speakers, she asserted that the proposal is an affront to the democratic process, and she is putting “the cart before the horse” and is “jumping the Broadway Plan.”

A Better City Councilor Sarah Kirby-Yung also added that the process lacks “perceived transparency” and has a negative impact on the legitimacy of the Broadway Plan.

Vancouver City Manager Paul Mochrie warned that postponing today’s decision would mean this project would go through another public hearing by the city council after the October 2022 civic election. The dates of the hearings Public hearings of the city council until the end of July, before the summer holidays in August, are already full, and the new statutes do not allow public hearings to be scheduled in September, only a few weeks before the elections.

1477 west broadway vancouver south granville station pci tower developments

Artist’s rendering of the concept tower over the future South Granville Station at 1477 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Association/PCI Developments)

vancouver broadway plan november 2021

Broadway Plan Area for new building heights around the South Granville SkyTrain Station, including 1477 West Broadway. (Vancouver City)

But Green Party Councilor Adriane Carr disputed claims that this decision was putting the cart before the horse. In July 2021, the city council granted city staff permission to accept and review a rezoning application calling for a tall tower on the site under the Interim Broadway Rezoning Policy, which is in effect temporarily during the planning process. of several years for the Broadway Plan. . This interim policy stipulates that projects can be considered as 100% rental housing for the residential component.

“I think we have to judge this based on that. [interim] policy,” Carr said, emphasizing that this proposal is consistent with interim policy, adding that “city staff have already indicated to us that the Broadway Plan is already in draft form” and is under a separate process.

It was also noted during the deliberations that the previous impacts of the pandemic, particularly on public consultation, delayed and changed the schedule of various planning processes and rezoning requests, including both the Broadway Plan and this rezoning request.

1477 West Broadway Vancouver South Granville Station

Form and uses of 1477 West Broadway in the future South Granville Station. (Musson Cattell Mackey Association/PCI Developments)

1477 west broadway vancouver south granville station pci tower developments

Mixed-use tower above the future South Granville Station at 1477 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Association/PCI Developments)

The redevelopment includes 223 rental units insured within the upper levels, with 80% as market rental units and 45 units as below-market units under the city’s Moderate Income Housing Pilot Program (MIRHPP) .

Within the lower floors below the residential uses, there would also be 100,000 square feet of office space, a 22,000 square foot grocery store, and more than 7,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Six underground levels, already largely built as part of the under construction placeholder design, will contain 285 vehicle parking spaces and 507 secure bicycle parking spaces. The total floor area of ​​the tower will be 318,000 square feet, providing a floor area density ratio of a floor area that is 12.3 times greater than the lot size.

“Rapid transit stations are the most appropriate for taller buildings and specifically for rent. Of all the locations in the city, the rapid transit stations should be the tallest,” said Carr, who also noted that the tower will have 95% fewer emissions than the average building of this type.

A Better City Councilwoman Lisa Dominato said this scale of density and height is the transit-oriented development norm for other SkyTrain stations throughout the region.

1477 west broadway vancouver south granville station pci tower developments

Artist’s rendering of the concept tower over the future South Granville Station at 1477 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Association/PCI Developments)

Rebecca Bligh, another A Better City councilwoman, argued that the amount of vehicle parking provided for a spot next to the SkyTrain station is a mistake, but conceded that city policy allows it.

Green Party councilor Michael Wiebe said he is surprised that only one of the six new tube stations is undergoing building developments fully integrated with station entrances, timed with the opening day of the SkyTrain extension, and lo called a “missed opportunity”.

Swanson opposed the bill on the grounds that the houses are not affordable enough, specifically wanting below-market rental units for households earning $50,000 or less.

In exchange for approval of the rezoning, PCI Developments will provide the city with $5.3 million in public benefits, including $4.7 million in utility and citywide development cost levies, and $631,000 in public art. This does not include the in-kind value of the below market rental housing and the allocation of space within the building to accommodate the station entrance and concourse level.

1477 west broadway vancouver south granville station pci tower developments

December 2021 Construction progress on the building above the future South Granville Station at 1477 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Association/PCI Developments)

1477 west broadway vancouver south granville station pci tower developments

December 2021 Construction progress on the building above the future South Granville Station at 1477 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Association/PCI Developments)

south granville station skytrain broadway extension

SkyTrain South Granville Station Design Concept, April 2021. (BC Government)

granville south broadway subway station

South Granville Station on the Broadway Extension of the SkyTrain Millennium Line. (BC Government)

granville south broadway subway station

South Granville Station on the Broadway Extension of the SkyTrain Millennium Line. (BC Government)

granville south broadway subway station

South Granville Station on the Broadway Extension of the SkyTrain Millennium Line. (BC Government)

Leave a Comment