A comment under Our Looming Tower by Ralph Segal that’s worth bringing forward:
This intriguing 497 ft. high tower by Bjarke Ingels (Westbank is the developer) is a worthy demonstration of the intent of the City’s Higher Building Policy in delivering not merely outstanding architectural design at specific locations that avoid protected view corridors but further, a development that addresses an array of city planning and urban design objectives and requirements.
Included in the development (which replaced a mini-storage warehouse and vehicle repair shops) is a 98 unit rental housing component (lower podium) and soon to emerge unique, green-roofed, low scale buildings between the bridge and on/off ramps that will transform this bleak under-bridge area into an active retail/commercial hub for the neighbourhood. In addition to the rental housing, a further $13.5m CAC developer contribution will fund City cultural, heritage and off-site public realm needs.
Another notable example is the striking, Bing Thom-designed 556 ft. high “Butterfly” (rezoned in 2017, in conjunction with the West End Community Plan, 2013) on 1000- block Nelson behind the heritage First Baptist Church on Burrard St., which will be restored and seismically upgraded as part of the development.
In addition to this highly acclaimed tower design and Church rehab, the development, again by Westbank, will include 66 units of TRUE, much needed social housing to be owned and managed by the Church, a 37 space daycare and cash contributions totalling, in all, a CAC package valued at $93.3m.
Such needed public benefits, provided by the developer in exchange for additional density and height, are, frankly, beyond the budgets of governments to deliver. So long as a thorough, robust assessment against City policy and guidelines of the urban design quality and “fit” of proposed developments in their context, along with public consultation, confirms that the additional density and height can be accommodated, such proposals, in specifically identified areas, should continue to be considered.