As part of the West End plan, new density was to be concentrated on the western end of Davie Street, leaving the Gay Village up the hill as a more low-rise streetfront.  And so the one-storey spec commercial buildings from Denman to Cardero became highly desirable.  This one is soon to go:

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Davie 1 (1)

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To be replaced by this:

Davie 1 (2)

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It retains the commercial frontage but, at least in the rendering, lacks very much architectural interest, while significantly changing the scale of the street.

Comments

  1. … while adding hundreds of new bundled parking spaces, artificially lowering the cost of parking and inviting new residents to consider the car-lite west end as a place where one is expected to, as the ads say, “conquer the city”

  2. Between Cardero and Bidwell there are 4 new giant towers being jammed down our throat. 2 on the Safeway site, this project and across the street on the parking lot next to London Drugs. All take their design inspiration from the bold shades of the asphalt and sidewalk. Sorry, but what an embarrassment that a so called World Class City is incapable of designing anything with a hint of colour, style or human scale in one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in North America.

    Its bad enough that the scale of the street and the heritage apartment behind the Mac’s on Bidwell are being obliterated, at least replace them with something we can live with and enjoy. These will probably just sit empty as Foreign Safety deposit boxes anyway. After all, up the road units at The Jervis that destroyed 3 heritage homes and 2 mid century modern apartments are starting at $1 Million.

    1. Good! Bring it on!

      These units are going to be “secured market rental”, so they are not going to sit empty as “foreign safety deposit boxes” as you hysterically term them.

      The West End badly needs a fresh infusion of market rental housing stock.

        1. I agree with cars part, I often email the city about new proposed buildings asking them to reduce the amount of new underground parking spots.

      1. Yeah, it really close to King Edward Station.
        My guess would be the high number of 2 (35 of 56) and 3 bedroom (2 of 56) units – i.e. families with 2 vehicles? At 74 spaces, there’s 18 spaces in excess of 1 per unit (some of which would be for visitors and the plan shows 3 handicapped spaces), so maybe 5-10 units would have 2 parking spaces.
        It’s a large site and the parking only occupies 1 level underground (shared level with bike rooms and storage lockers..
        It could also be a response to the on-street parking situation in the area.

    2. I’m curious, do you believe the West End was a mistake when it was built? With all those brutalist towers being ‘shoved down the throats’ of the existing neighborhood?

      1. A neighbourhood like the West End would never be built from scratch in the middle of a single family (or even multi-tenanted detached looking) neighbourhood these days.

        Just look at the resistance to mid-rises along Commercial Drive.

  3. Mr. Price, not only is the character of the buildings in the West End about to change, but the character of the streets is about to change as well.

    One condition that the Province placed upon the city of Vancouver in order for the viaducts to be torn down, is that the city had to ensure that traffic volumes to the Stanley Park causeway wouldn’t be affected. The city has obviously known about this for a while as they’ve carefully been placing the pieces together, bit by bit, and under everyone’s radar.

    About five years ago the city started replacing all of the uncontrolled pedestrian intersections on Denman Street in the west end with pedestrian control intersections with beg buttons for crossing signals. The city claimed that too many people were getting hit by cars in these intersections. An ATI showed this wasn’t true. But what is unique about the new pedestrian controlled lights is that they are all synchronized from Davie to West Georgia.

    Just recently, the city held an open house at the National Works yard. This was to announce the building of a new connector route from Clark Drive over to Pacific and Expo Blvd. The city claimed this was to divert traffic from going through Strathcona and the DTES once the viaducts came down. I asked one of the city representatives where all of the traffic was going to go once it hit Burrard street. The rep shrugged his shoulders and said that this wasn’t a concern of the team looking after the connector road.

    Just recently the city, as part of the Burrard St. Bridge “upgrade” has widened the intersection of Pacific and Burrard and has widened Pacific Avenue from Burrard to Thurlow to allow two lanes of car traffic in each direction to cross Burrard St.

    So, there’s a lot of changes underfoot, and they’re not good.
    Vision has sold the residents of the west end out to their developer buddies.

  4. Well, this is really a case of “be careful what you wish for” isn’t it Gordon? If you tell everybody that to be virtuous they must live in a small space in a dense neighbourhood,you can’t be surprised when they show up.

    Of course the unique typology of towers set in a green yard that makes the West End such an amazingly relaxing place for an urban walk will eventually be lost to the developer greed unleashed by Mayor Robertson. At least this tower isn’t quite the same level of neighbourhood slayer that the Jervis with its million dollar suites will be. However calling it affordable will only be possible using Councillor Jang’s “Well, you know, affordable housing is something that somebody can afford” definition.

  5. The west-end is a highly desirable location: close to Stanley Park, beaches and downtown. Any attempt to keep its low density neighborhood is a subsidy for those that already live there – often in rent controlled apartments – at the expense of everyone else.

    With land values soaring it being the next Yaletown or Coal Harbour was just a matter of time.

    What is missing is $300/car/month parking fees and a subway loop under Robson, then Denmen, then Davie to stadium. It could, it should, become utterly car free.

    Next one after that: Kits, also very low density.

    1. Thomas, thank you, sometimes you frustrate me, but in this case I agree with every single paragraph, every sentence and every word. It may not happen again soon, but while it does, thank you 🙂

      1. Really? You and artitectus are agreeing with Thomas’ claim the West End is low density? That’s an outright lie. It’s one if the densest neighbourhoods in North America.

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