It’s sometimes worth looking back and reviewing developments once they are completed.
A project that involved the addition of 5 floors on top of a heritage building was approved by City Council at a Public Hearing on November 1, 2011. The R.A. Welsh building at 564 Beatty Street received a protected heritage designation in return for a density increase (9.23 FSR from 5 FSR) and a height increase (125 feet from 70 feet). Council also provided $150,000 in façade grants from the 2009 Capital Budget, waived DCLs (Development Cost Levies), and provided up to $3 million worth of tax exemptions over a 10-year period.
Is the addition 564 Beatty Street a good fit? Does it respect the architecture of the heritage building? Or is it a foreign element that is out of context? Did the City make too many compromises in approving this project? Or is it a fair trade-off? We’ve included a number of photos of the building and context in the slideshow below:
The Heritage Commission did not support the application while the Urban Design Panel was unanimously in favour of the project.
Reliance Properties is currently leasing the building; the applicant behind the project was listed as Jon Stovell, Rossmore Enterprises Ltd.
Additional details on the project can be found under the following links:
Public Hearing (Nov 1, 2011)
Urban Design Panel
Staff recommendations included the following:
C … (a) secure the rehabilitation and long-term preservation of the heritage building at 564 Beatty Street;
(b) vary provisions of the Downtown District Official Development plan to permit an on-site total floor space ratio (FSR) increase from 5.00 FSR to 9.23 FSR, and a maximum building height increase from 70.00 feet to 125.06 feet; and
(c) vary the Vancouver Development Cost Levy By-law No. 9755 to waive requirement of payment of the development cost levy otherwise payable in connection with the project proposed under development permit application no. DE414716;
F. THAT, subject to the approval of Recommendations A and B and to terms, conditions and agreements satisfactory to the Director of Legal Services and to the Director of Planning, Council authorize three façade grants of up to $50,000 each ($150,000 in total) for the 564 Beatty Street heritage building, with funding to be provided from the 2009 Capital Budget;
G …. a Tax Exemption By-law for 564 Beatty Street to exempt it from real property taxation under Part XX (Real- Property Taxation) of the Vancouver Charter in an amount up to a maximum total cumulative exemption of $3,019,986 or for a period of 10 years, whichever is reached first;