Vancouver city council to vote on referring downtown tower application to a public hearing

Another Vancouver parking lot is on the verge of being converted into an office tower.

Photos

A Vancouver staff report recommends that council refer an application for a 31-storey building on the southeast corner of Granville Street and Cordova Street to a public hearing.

VIA Architecture submitted the documents to the city on behalf of Granco Holdings Ltd. (Carrera Management Corporation) to increase the floor-space ratio from 9.0 to 24.24. The proposal includes retail space at street level.

In the report, city manager Penny Ballem comments that the application "aligns with the Metro Core Jobs Strategy, the Vancouver Economic Action Strategy, and the Transportation 2040 Plan in that it involves the creation of significant job space adjacent to a major transit hub".

Waterfront Station is across the street from the parkade.

From the water, a planned tower can be seen in the middle of this image.
City of Vancouver report

According to CityHallWatch, there's been speculation that the super-secretive owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps, Greg Kerfoot, owns the site.

The senior property manager at Carrera Management Corp., Trish Knight, has not returned a call from the Straight to confirm this.

Carrera's office is in The Landing at 375 Water Street, which is the same building occupied by Vancouver Whitecaps office staff.

From Cordova Street, the proposed tower is roughly the same height as Harbour Centre minus the rooftop restaurant.
A parking lot at the corner of Granville and Cordova streets will be history if VIA Architecture's application is approved by council.
Charlie Smith
Comments (19) Add New Comment
Just a Voter
Is there any question this will be referred to public hearing? Any question it will be approved? And why is Penny Ballem writing Planning Dept. reports? A floor-space ratio of 24.24 is obscene and unnecessary.
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Alan Layton
After so many years of residential construction on the downtown peninsula, I'm glad to see more office space being built. Vancouver was starting to look too much like a resort city and needed to attract more businesses to the core. I'm assuming internet and software developers are the main clients they want to attract and building close to a major transportation hub makes a ton of sense.
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Hazlit
Killing parking lots is good for everyone! My hero has long been Inglot Man--the guy who removes -ing lot from "parking lot." Hurrah for all developers who take over a parking lot. Those who insist on not having parking get a kiss from me. :)
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Meathead
Only 30 measly floors? What's with this town and their fear of heights? Why not 60? Heck, 80 would be a nice. And the location for an new office tower couldn't be more perfect. Time to start digging!
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Just a Voter
There are 132 parking stalls proposed in the new buildling - this is not a "car-free" development.
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JF
It's kind of strange that there seems to be a need for a tower and yet all throughout downtown and particularly on Robson and commercial streets - there are for lease signs everywhere. Some spaces on and around Robson have been empty for months.
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JS
This is one ugly parking lot. No one will be missing it.
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Alan Layton
JF - most of those empty spaces are for small retail and the new tower will most likely concentrate on a particular type of business, and in this case I'm willing to bet it will be high tech, since there has been tremendous growth in this area, in the downtown core - Amazon, Sony, Microsoft etc.
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Save Vancouver
@Meathead - maybe because some of us still treasure what makes Vancouver special, the view of the mountains and the sea. If you want non-stop highrise crap move to Shanghai.
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Done deal
The decision has already been made: the donations to Vision greased the wheels and we will get yet another ridiculous building. Does anyone know how Telus got the OK to build over the street on Seymour & on Richards? How much does one need to give Vision before they OK one roofing over the sidewalks? Watch out Cambie Street: you are going to get the Metrotown treatment thanks to Robertson and his Middle-aged rich white guys. Aunt Penny will make sure to declare this entire development is wonderful and heralds a brave new world.
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Meathead
@SaveVancouver

I'm not saying to put a highrise into every nook and cranny. What I meat is that given the desperate need for more office space, the fact it's right beside a major transit centre, not to mention the parking monstrosity it's going to replace, this is a no-brainer. Vancouver is not all just picnics and waterfalls... despite some issues, Vancouver's development is typically well thought out. Besides, if I really feel like going to Shanghai I'll just take a train to Richmond.
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improve the plan
gosh another ugly broad structure of a building. Why can't we have a building which is a bit taller to give it a more skinnier look, a better façade, and one that would add a bit more retail/commercial space. How about a mall on the bottom three floors since its so close to the sky train!!! When space comes at a premium in a place like downtown Vancouver we need to make maximum use of it, there are many buildings taller than this one there.
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Alan Layton
@Save Vancouver - for too long the 'mountain viewers' have controlled what is built in this city for and the results are the homogeneous, faded facades of most buildings, such in False Creek, which were intended to blend in with the background so it wouldn't distract from the mountains.

Unless they have a fresh dusting of snow, the local mountains aren't particularly memorable, especially with large swaths of clear cuts for ski runs and power lines in them, and housing running nearly halfway up in some areas. The city itself has been ignored for two long and it's very hard to name any iconic buildings built since the Marine Building. I think that the mountains are so large that it would be impossible for a building to dominate them, so let's relax our stranglehold on the views and let some character develop in the downtown core.
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Nelson100
Another air conditioned glass box. Vancouver takes another step away from being green. Glass curtained high rise air conditioned buildings are the absolute worst energy performers of any building type. When Vision talk about being green they are talking about the profits of their developer puppet masters, definitely not about the buildings they build.
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Hermie
Allan Layton, maybe you should move to Toronto. As if another glass box can ever compete with nature's scenery. Get a grip.
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JF
There are plenty of empty buildings in Gastown as well with dusty "for lease" signs, some freshly renovated. There's something wrong with this picture.
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10,000 +- for lease signs?
Why does this city allow more buildings when half are already empty.? Somebody is getting a suitcase full of cash again to push this through.
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do me a solid and you will get rewarded
Living in a downtown core and getting upset about high density is silly. However it is very odd with all the vacant stores. I just wish affordable housing was pursued with the same rigor as these obvious crony projects.
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whatever
At the very least, can we get some slightly more interesting architecture in this city? These glass towers are a bore.
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