Vancouver’s tallest skyscraper approved

Vancouver’s development permit board has given the green light to an application to build the tallest skyscraper yet in Vancouver. The panel gave the go-ahead on December 18 to property owner West Georgia Holdings Inc. to put up a mixed-use hotel, office, and residential structure at 1133 West Georgia Street. It will be on the north side of Georgia between Thurlow and Bute streets.

“It was approved,” board member and deputy city manager Brent MacGregor confirmed to the Straight.

Documents prepared by development permit staff indicate that the proposed building will be one storey higher than the 58-storey Living Shangri-La currently under construction at 1128 West Georgia Street.

According to the corporate registry, Simon Lim is listed as the company’s only director and officer. COPE Coun. David Cadman stated in a news release earlier this year that a developer named Simon Lim had donated $45,000 to Vision Vancouver prior to the 2005 civic election.

Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership designed the building in collaboration with Davidson Yuen Simpson Architects and Arthur Erickson. The architectural firm noted on its Web site ( www.mcmparchitects.com /) that “this slim, triangular, elegant 167-metre tower rotates 45 degrees between its base and its roof.”

City documents showed that the building will have a total floor area of 466,653 square feet. The developer proposed to include 311 parking spaces. The structure will have 163 residential units, of which about 40 percent will be suitable for families.

MacGregor said he could not recall what amendments to the plans were approved by the permit board. Minutes of the board meeting will be available in January.

Development permit staff, according to documents, had noted that the landscape design at the pedestrian level is “harsh due to the vast amount of paving proposed”. The staff suggested: “Although ample trees have been proposed, there are opportunities through the provision of amenity in the form of art objects, benches and additional greenery to animate the space and bring delight to the pedestrian urban landscape experience.”

The 48-storey One Wall Centre is currently the tallest high-rise building in Vancouver.

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