The issue of “poor doors” has once again come up before Vancouver’s development-permit board. On January 7, it approved a 28-storey tower on the northeast corner of Robson and Cardero streets. According to the application, the project will include 24 units of social housing on the third and fourth floors.
The site is across the street from the Robson Public Market and across the lane from a 43-storey tower that Westbank Corp. is building at 1550 Alberni Street.
Another 153 market units will be built from the fourth to the 28th storey. The ground floor will be retail space; office units will be developed on the second and third floors.
The board voted that prior to receiving a development permit, VKJ (Cardero) Investment LP must present revised drawings to director of planning Gil Kelley indicating “a balanced expression of the adjacent market and social housing residential entries, with consideration of a shared outdoor play area”.
The development-permit staff report noted that this could be achieved if the applicant can “widen the nonmarket entry to create a more generous interior lobby”. Staff also stated in the report that this balanced expression would be enhanced by an entry canopy over both doors and by creating an “entry forecourt unifying the two with a shared paving pattern”.
In addition, the staff report suggested that there be some “consideration of shared access to the northwest roof deck at the 3rd floor”.
In October, the Straight reported that the project’s consultant, IBI Group, previously stated that “entrances for each component of this development will be designed to be unique and easy to identify.”
For many years, the City of Vancouver has been granting development permits for residential projects with separate entrances for social housing. Recent examples include towers being constructed at 1068–1080 Burnaby Street and 1318 Thurlow Street.