(Update 10-Sept-2012 — Minutes are not yet posted online, but Novae Res Urbis reports that the Urban Design Panel did NOT support this tower at its Aug 29 meeting. Details pending.) If approved, the proposed 32-storey tower at 320 Granville Street with a Floor Space Ratio of 25.5 would have one of the highest densities in the entire downtown peninsula.
Further details will be presented at an Open House on Thursday, July 12th, between 5-8pm at 375 Water St. Information on the proposal is available on the City’s website, and online comments can be made at this link. Via Architecture is making the application for an undisclosed client. (Update July 20, 2012: Application documents appear to provide no name of the property owner, and even the City’s Rezoning Center staff at the open house didn’t know who owned the property. But we learned from the architect at the open house that the owner is Carrera Management Corporation, http://www.carreramc.com/. Though the company website provides no ownership information, further research suggests that the president may be Nevin Sangha, who also appears to be a director of Galaxy Capital Corp (GXY/P:Venture) and president of Brachman Developments. It turns out that Mr. Sangha and Carrera were involved in a recent renoviction of a building that housed persons with cerebral palsy, and a person by the same name was involved in dealings covered in media in the past — Developer took advantage of me when I was sick, Canada.com, 8-Feb-2008.) There is speculation that Greg Kerfoot, one of the principal owners of the Vancouver Whitecaps professional soccer team, is the actual owner of this property. One wonders why another firm is fronting for this application and even rezoning staff at the public open house claimed not to know who owned the property.
The current zoning for the Downtown District states: “the total density for all permitted uses must not exceed a floor space ratio of 9.00” for the part of the downtown that includes 320 Granville. Is an increase in density from 9FSR to 25.5FSR too much of an upzone? Can the existing infrastructure and utilities properly service this site? Would such a large upzone be fair to other property owners? Can a 25.5FSR rezoning set a precedent for other properties in the Downtown District? Is there enough of an amenity to justify the requested density? Should such a high density development be considered under any circumstance?
The site at 320 Granville is across the street from Waterfront Station and currently contains a parking garage. A 384′ (117m) tall tower on this site would shade Waterfront Station and the square south of the Vancouver Sun and Province Building.