Inspired By The East – 2019’s Seeds Sprout New Opportunities In Cambie’s Exclusive Gardens

500 – 650 West 57th Avenue (Pearson Dogwood lands) – Cambie Gardens
While Darren and I have a backlog of content to write, as civic events have been postponed, this will likely be the last open house we attend for the foreseeable future. Admittedly, I was not certain we would go to this one, as it conflicted with another meeting for a significant development in West Vancouver. We have often debated if we should cover projects on the North Shore, but ultimately I persuaded Darren we should stay in Vancouver.

Which was pretty easy to do, as we have both been curious to see the large models inside the Cambie Gardens Presentation Centre for some time. Along with the general layout of the site was a huge model of Parcel A, where prices for studio apartments start at roughly $700,000. That might be affordable for single-family homeowners looking to downsize, but last summer city council acknowledged they needed to find a way to promote far more obtainable housing here.

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That bring us to this proposal, which seeks to convert ~255,000 square feet of strata housing in Parcels C and E into rental housing affordable to households making $30,000 – $70,000 a year. In exchange, that strata density will be added to eight buildings throughout the site. At the higher end, two towers will be increased by eight and nine floors, and the smaller podiums will raised to match their neighbours. That said, most buildings will only add a couple storeys.

As development applications have already been approved for Parcels A – E, nearly all of this new growth will occur on the property’s western side (pg 17). The one exception is the changes at Parcel D, which gathered the most attention as people were curious whether this meant the long promised Canada Line Station would finally materialize. Unfortunately, as was the case several months ago, this is still not a priority for TransLink as the construction would be too disruptive to existing service.

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However, as the Langara – 49th Avenue station is only a 15 minute walk away, one person believed city staff should follow Burnaby’s example and allow for even taller buildings here. Others felt this area had seen enough growth, and expressed it would be better to build this type of development to Vancouver’s eastern neighbourhoods where land was cheaper. This opinion ignores that the previously approved rezoning application will provide 361 below-market homes here and land for the city build another 179.

Some seemed upset this meant individuals from the Reiderman Residence Temporary Modular Homes might continue to be housed here after this development is complete. That will depend on what non-profit operator is chosen to manage these homes, which has yet to be determined, Of course, there will be plenty of time to figure this out as all of these changes will need to go through an Urban Design Panel review, and be approved at a public hearing.

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Part of me wonders if these requirements are excessive, as it seemed most people were more interested in buying a home here, rather than these changes, or even the plentiful sweets. Perhaps the food would have been more filling at the other event, which was held at the Beach House, but at least our curiosity was satiated. Though it feels far better to make an impact, so make sure to send your thoughts to courtb@onni.com before March 26th, 2020.

You can view more photos of the information boards here, and more of our photos of the presentation centre here.

Applicant Team Information:

Developer Onni Group

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