New design eyed for Quayside project
A Quayside development is still an imposing structure for one area resident, despite design changes.
Bosa Properties wants to build twin towers at 1000 Quayside Dr., which is currently a parking lot in front of the Inn at the Quay. A preliminary proposal came to council in February.
It called for two 26-storey highrises with a seven-storey podium, one of which is underground. It was to have nearly 600 residential units, including 48 for rental to take advantage of city incentives.
But after city staff and residents expressed concerns, Bosa revised its plans. The developer now proposes a podium two storeys shorter and the height of one tower being 23 storeys and the other 28. The west tower has also been set back an additional 28 feet.
“The intent is to create a more sculpted skyline than was previously proposed,” said city planner Jackie Teed.
To make room for the parking lost with a smaller podium Bosa wants to drop the rental units.
The new proposal calls for 528 total units.
The mix would be 325 one-bedroom units (527 to 652 sq. ft.), 177 two-bedrooms (744 to 963 sq. ft.) and 26 three-bedroom units (1,035 to 1,494 sq. ft.).
Ken Wilkinson, a resident of Westminster Landing next door to the project, likes a lot of the changes, but they’re not enough.
“They’ve done some good work in dealing with the shadow issues by scaling down that tower and moving it a little bit to the east. But I looked at the revised plans, even with the parking with the way they’ve made it, it’s still an imposing podium,” said Wilkinson.
After seeing the new plans Wilkinson went out to the boardwalk and talked to about 15 people about them. He said the consensus was it will still dwarf Westminster Landing, the 12-storey hotel and Westminster Savings building.
“It’s out of proportion for the neighbourhood as it is now,” said Wilkinson. “It’s still going to be a vertical wall not set back from the road.”
Bosa’s new proposal suited city council and staff more than its first one. Council gave staff the go ahead to continue the review process for Bosa’s rezoning application.
“On balance staff believes the changes to this project really have benefited this project and have reflected the concerns of the community, and that has meant the rental units have been put aside,” city director of planning Bev Grieve told council Monday.
“It is also important to note that in the Downtown right now we have 1,040 rental units in the approvals process, so we felt considering the various issues that the proposed changes were worthy of council’s consideration.”
Coun. Jaimie McEvoy was the only council member who didn’t agree with Grieve.
“I am very concerned about losing rental. We have a new rental policy and that’s having a positive effect,” said McEvoy. “We don’t want to gain a reputation of having effectively turned rental away.”
Coun. Betty McIntosh praised the updated design as more appropriate for the neighbourhood.
“This proposal has gone one step further to create a proposal where the community concerns have been addressed,” said McIntosh.
However, Coun. Chuck Puchmayr would prefer more parking be underground. Train noise is also a concern, he added. An analysis of its impact will be done further into the process, Grieve told him.
“I had hoped it would be at an earlier step,” said Puchmayr. “There is a railway there and it’s not leaving any time soon … That discussion has to happen with the railways and they can give you some mitigation ideas and that puts you that much further ahead of the game.”
The new proposal also calls for a pedestrian link to the McInnes Overpass moved so it lines up with the Fraser River. An 18-foot high portal would connect through the podium to the Inn. The portal’s columns will be wrapped in translucent fiberglass that is backlit to make it feel light and safe, said a Bosa spokesman. Ceiling waves of wood would disguise mechanical systems above it.