It’s Curtains for Kingsway Black Lodge, Though No One Sees Red at Open House

Broken up by Kingsway, 15th Avenue is currently experiencing a very Twin Peaks like duality, as the northeast side  has some of Vancouver’s most popular places to eat and drink, while the southwest sees less activity. The developer is hoping to change that vibe by adding 51 new rental homes while retaining a retail presence on the street. When we first saw this project I liked it, as I believed it fit well with the curve on Kingsway. Darren, on the other hand, was more skeptical as he liked the proposal’s stats, but did not care for elements of the design. After attending the open house, he admitted I was right.

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That is not really surprising though, while I will let him think that I am always right, I believe part of what swayed him was how well the project was received at the open house. We are not exactly sure how many people attended, but in the hour we spent at the event I think there were less than 10 people who weren’t wearing staff badges. Those who did attend seemed to be youthful, supportive of the rental housing and of the revitalized commercial space. Clearly there wasn’t just a demand for more rental homes, but for spaces to socialize as well. Through speaking with city staff and the applicant, we learned that the panels that look like wood are actually a high pressure composite material. This makes sense, as it gives the west coast feel without the west coast wood-rot.

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Given the positive response at the open house, it is clear to us this building will be a good fit for the neighbourhood. The design, even Darren now admits, is good overall. The renewed retail spaces are clearly desired by the neighbourhood, and the rental homes will allow for healthcare workers of all incomes to have a walkable commute to the nearby Mount Saint Joseph’s Hospital. With how frequent transit is here, the Rental 100 policy that allows for a reduction in parking is appropriate, and as almost 50% of the units have 2 bedrooms or more, the nearby parks will see plenty of use from families in the building. In short, it’s no wonder why the open house was so quiet – what’s not to like? If you agree or disagree, make sure your voice is heard.

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The proposal is for a 6-storey mixed-use building, consisting of:

  • Commercial use at grade;
  • a total of 53 secured market rental units;
  • a floor area of 4,821 sq. m (51,888 sq. ft.);
  • a floor space ratio (FSR) of 3.75;
  • a building height of 21 m (69 ft.); and
  • 2 levels of underground parking.

Source 

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