Open house for precedent-setting 28 storey tower concept – 1296 West Broadway (former Denny’s, now 2538 Birch St): Thurs 29-Nov-2018

1296 Broadway 2538 Birch open house 29-Nov-2018 invite

Pre-Application Open House for 28-storey tower at 2538 Birch (1296 W Broadway)
Event organized by Developer
– Thursday, November 29, 2018, 6 – 8 pm
– 2nd Floor, Holy Trinity Anglican Church
– 1440 – 12th Avenue, Vancouver (at Hemlock St.)


After an extensive process and Public Hearing on January 16, 2018, a 16-storey rental tower with 153 market rental units was approved at 1296 West Broadway (address now changed to 2538 Birch Street), the former site of a Denny’s Restaurant. After the rezoning conditions were met, Council enacted By-law No. 12179, CD-1 (708), on July 24, 2018. With all that cleared, a development application (this time for 158 rental units) went ahead for the approved 16 storeys and is still active today, it seems (DP-2018-00425). So that is all very fresh.

Now the property owner is considering a whole new process, to start a new rezoning application for 28 storeys and they want public input about the idea of the extra 12 storeys, with two levels of retail and office, and approx. 262 rental apartments. “All units are to be secured as market rentals and twenty percent (20%) of the residential units are earmarked to households earning $30,000 to $80,000 per annum.”

An invitation to the pre-application open house from Jameson Broadway & Birch LP on behalf of Icon Properties of America (IPA, a A “family-owned business” based in Altamonte Springs, Florida) is being circulated in the neighbourhood. Hoping to expand on what was already approved, they seek to add 12 floors to provide more rental units for this “transit-oriented” location. The increase appears to be 104 units (from 158 up to 262).

This concept could result in the tallest tower (in terms of storeys) along Broadway to date and a sign of things to come. Despite much fanfare about the Broadway Expansion of SkyTrain, there is no guarantee it will get built as the entire regional transit plan could unravel with Surrey’s demands to switch to SkyTrain from the previous consent plan of light rapid transit. But the prospect of a new subway line is driving a lot of development along Broadway (see links below). Some development is coming first. But if the subway doesn’t come in, Vancouver could end up with a long row of towers and no subway.

The trigger for this new idea of going to 28 storeys is that the proponent is armed with a new city policy, the Moderate Income Rental Housing  Pilot Program (MIRHPPS), which was approved by the previous City Council on November 29, 2017 (see updated CoV bulletin as of May 2018). The applicant is risking some expense and delays by seeking a new rezoning application, and in fact, depending on how long things take, the previous approval of 16 storeys could expire.

Supporters of the concept will like the additional rental units (apparently, 104) with the extra 12 storeys. The site is between two possible transit stations, a short ride to Downtown, and close to the the medical precinct of Vancouver General Hospital.

Some members in the community may be concerned about the impacts of increased height and density on things like livability and views, as well as the precedent being set on the Broadway Corridtor, and whether the public pluses outweigh the minuses.  It would be interesting to see some pro forma calculations of the profitability of the change.

There are tradeoffs and many factors involved, so it will be interesting to see how the public discussion goes on this concept.


REFERENCES – About the previous rezoning at this site for 16 storeys, approved

Official rezoning web page for the 16-storey tower

his application was approved by Council at Public Hearing on January 16, 2018. The conditions having been met, Council enacted By-law No. 12179, CD-1 (708), on July 24, 2018.

Rezoning application filed for Denny’s restaurant on West Broadway
Carlito Pablo, February 8, 2017
[Note – this is the first rezoning, which was eventually approved by City Council]

Excerpt – One is at 1296 West Broadway, at the corner of Birch Street, where a 16-storey building has been proposed for the current location of a Denny’s restaurant. The site is between two potential stations of the subway, which is projected to extend the SkyTrain’s Millennium Line from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street. To the east, a subway station is planned for the southeast corner of West Broadway and Oak Street, where a 10-storey office and retail building is currently under development. To the west is Granville Street, where one of six underground stations for the subway is anticipated.

Public hearing scheduled for rezoning of Denny’s Restaurant on West Broadway
by Charlie Smith, January 14, 2018.

Excerpt – The IBI Group has applied for council’s permission to build 153 for-profit, secured-market rental units and commercial at-grade space at this location. Northland Properties Corporation owns Dencan Restaurants Inc., which in turn owns and operates more than 50 Denny’s Restaurants across Canada, including four in the city of Vancouver. Northland Properties was founded by Bob Gaglardi in 1963 and also owns the Sandman Hotel Group, Sutton Place Hotels, Moxie’s Grill & Bar, Chop Steakhouse & Bar, and the Dallas Stars NHL team.

Architect submits rezoning inquiry to replace Park Inn and Suites with hospital-oriented project: The hotel is home to the Fairview Pub, which is one of the very few live music venues on the West Side of Vancouver [878-898 West Broadway]
by Charlie Smith, April 1, 2018

Excerpt – It’s not the only major redevelopment that’s been proposed in this part of Vancouver. In January, city council approved IBI Group’s rezoning application for 153 rental units, at-grade commercial space, and 168 parking spots at the Denny’s Restaurant site at 1296 West Broadway. Slightly east in the 1100 block of West Broadway, the Toys “R” Us site could also be rezoned in the wake of the giant toy retailer going into bankruptcy protection. In a recent article, Straight contributor Stanley Q. Woodvine explored what impact this could have on the giant Toys “R” Us sign, which was placed over the famous BowMac sign. There’s also a 10-storey development, including eight storeys of condos, proposed for the corner of West Broadway and Spruce Street. That will likely force the 25-year-old Odin Books to find a new location. The open house for the proposed replacement of the Park Inn & Suites will come less than three weeks after the chair of the TransLink Mayors’ Council, Derek Corrigan, announced that the Broadway extension to the Millennium Line would be built.

Urban Design Panel (UDP) May 3 (Wed): 2075 W12th, 2176 Alexandra, 1296 W Broadway, 855 Kingsway



One thought on “Open house for precedent-setting 28 storey tower concept – 1296 West Broadway (former Denny’s, now 2538 Birch St): Thurs 29-Nov-2018

  1. Greedy developer coming to Broadway a d birch in Vancouver. You guys got approved for 16 storey building fine. Don’t be greedy apply for 28. Getting people upset to make more money. Don’t do that. is greedy and sick to be dishonest and upset people . This developer is from US Florida. Doesn’t care a zilch a out adding rental to Vancouver. Is just here to maximize a d grow its capital like
    Cancer for the city.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s