Transformative ‘Gateway’ Project proceeds to Public Hearing

A transformative ‘Gateway’ project at the north end of City Centre along King George Blvd at Bolivar Rd received 1st & 2nd Readings at Council on Monday, and will now proceed to Public Hearing on January 13. The project, which has been in the planning stages for nearly 5 years, initially appeared before Council back in April 2018, but was referred back to Staff to work with the applicant on refining the proposal, and to determine a ‘significant amenity contribution’ in exchange for increased density on the site. Since then, the project, designed by Vancouver’s MCM Architects has undergone significant design refinements to create an ‘iconic’ gateway development consisting of 1,040 units within:

  • 37-Storey Residential Tower above a 7-Storey podium
  • 31-Storey Residential Tower above a 6-Storey podium
  • 26-Storey Residential Tower above a 6-Storey podium
  • Two 6-Storey Low-Rise Residential Buildings
  • A 5,673 sq.ft. Childcare Facility
  • A small Cafe

Under the current application however, only the 26-Storey Residential Tower, Childcare Facility, Cafe, and a large ‘Orchard Plaza’ will be built as a first phase at the corner of King George Blvd and Bolivar Rd. The remainder of the development will be subject to future detailed Development Permit applications. The first phase tower will consist of 239 units, with the Childcare Facility and Cafe at its base. The large interior ‘Orchard Plaza’ design by Vancouver’s PWL Partnership Landscape Architects is intended to “celebrate connections to local agriculture” and will incorporate fruit trees within moveable planters, in addition to seating, an open lawn space, playground space, and an interactive stormwater capturing feature.

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View looking south on King George Blvd from Bolivar Rd
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View looking south along Barker St from Bolivar Rd
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View of interior ‘Orchard Plaza’ from Barker St
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Close-up view of interior ‘Orchard Plaza’ with interactive stormwater feature
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View of Cafe and plaza at corner of King George and Bolivar within Phase 1
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Public realm entry into interior of site from King George Blvd
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View looking north along King George Blvd of landscaped sidewalk and bike path
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Proposed Phasing Plan
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Landscape Site Plan

Overall, the proposal is proposing a blended density of 4.2 FAR on the site, which exceeds the currently permitted 2.5 FAR in that area of the City Centre Plan, intended for 4-6-Storey development. As a condition of allowing the increased density, the developer is offering a significant community amenity contribution above and beyond what is required, as well as providing a significant number of ‘family-sized units’ of 2-bedrooms or larger.

In addition to the development itself, significant upgrades will be made to surrounding streets including an expansive new landscaped sidewalk and separated bike path along King George Blvd, and new dedication and construction of Barker Street to the north.

For more on the application:

https://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/PLR_7917-0397-00.pdf

Passages by Rize heads to Council

Vancouver developer Rize is set to bring their latest and most ambitious project to date before Surrey Council on Monday for 1st & 2nd Readings, and approval to proceed to Public Hearing. Passages as it’s called, is a proposed master-planned mixed-use development at 10138 Whalley Blvd consisting of market condos, market rental apartments, retail, and daycare space, all situated within a European-style ‘piazza’ public plaza. In total the project is proposing:

  • 3 High-Rise towers and 1 Low-Rise (6, 23, 32 & 39 Storeys) containing 954 Market Condo Residential Units
  • 2 Mid-Rise towers (13 Storeys each) containing 172 Market Rental Residential Units
  • 18,116 sq.ft. of Ground Level Retail Space
  • 4,252 sq.ft. of Daycare Space
  • A 69,602 sq.ft. Publicly Accessible ‘Piazza’-Style Public Plaza
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Rendering of central public ‘Piazza’ space within Passages development

Designed by London, UK based Alison Brooks Architects, Passages brings a fresh departure from the standard point tower above podium form, commonly found throughout Metro Vancouver. Instead, the project consists of 6 irregularly-shaped buildings of varying heights, clustered around a ‘Piazza’-style public plaza.

The design takes inspiration from coastal BC forests, incorporating references to ‘textured tree bark’ on building facades, and the use of earth tones and materials. Interspersed single and double-storey units are present throughout the towers, adding variation in form and glazing pattern. The 6-storey building is a modern interpretation of the traditional ‘British mansion block’ merged with ground floor townhouses.

The site’s perimeter and courtyard are structured as open, barrier-free spaces that the public and residents can share and enjoy. A series of four distinct piazzas, City Piazza, Park Piazza, Central Piazza and Neighbourhood Piazza, are linked by narrow urban groves between buildings and enriched streetscape edges.

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The Landscape Architect on the project is Vancouver’s PWL Partnership tasked with designing the publicly accessibly open spaces comprised of the four landscaped piazzas. These spaces are animated with community agricultural gardens, an urban square with seating, a children’s play area, a great lawn for event and performance space, a yoga and exercise zone, a community harvest table, and an outdoor barbeque and games table space to encourage the public and residents to interact and socialize.

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Passages will replace two existing and aging, wood-frame, 4-storey apartment buildings known as Fraserview Court, built in the 1970’s. Rize is proposing to offset the loss of the 154 existing rental residential units on site by providing 172 new rental residential units in two new 13-Storey concrete mid-rises as part of re-development. These rental units will be secured for a period of 20-years, through a Housing Agreement with the City. Rize is also assisting existing residents facing displacement through a City policy directed Tenant Relocation and Assistance Plan.

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The project is proposed to be built in 3 phases, which includes:

Phase 1 (Targeted Completion: May 2023)

  • 13-Storey Mid-Rise with Market Rental Residential (88 Units), Ground Floor Cafe, and Daycare
  • 23-Storey High-Rise with Market Condo Residential (212 Units)

Phase 2 (Targeted Completion: June 2024)

  • 6-Storey Low-Rise with Market Condo Residential (66 Units)
  • 32-Storey High-Rise with Market Condo Residential (304 Units), and Ground Level Retail

Phase 3 (Targeted Completion: August 2024)

  • 13-Storey Mid-Rise with Market Rental Residential (84 Units), and Ground Level Retail
  • 39-Storey High-Rise with Market Condo Residential (372 Units)

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In terms of approvals, the development is seeking:

  • City Centre Plan amendment to increase density on the site from 3.5 FAR to 5.5 FAR
  • Official Community Plan amendment to increase density on the site from 3.5 FAR to 5.5 FAR
  • Rezoning from Multiple Residential 45 Zone to Comprehensive Development Zone (Based on RM-135 & C-8)
  • Subdivision from 1 to 3 lots
  • Development Permit to allow for 3 High-Rise Buildings, 2 Mid-Rise Buildings, and 1 Low-Rise Building.

For more information on Passages:

https://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/PLR_7918-0289-00.pdf