The City of Vancouver has received a development proposal to amend CD-1 (349) (Comprehensive Development) District for Northeast False Creek Rezoning Plan: Sub-Area 6B Plaza of Nations at 750–772 Pacific Boulevard to permit a mixed-use development with commercial, residential, community and civic uses and public open spaces. This application proposes a maximum floor area of 181,625 sq. m (1,955,000 sq. ft.) and a maximum building height of 89.9 m (295 ft.). The site is located in the False Creek North Official Development Plan. The architect for this project is James K.M. Cheng Architects Inc. Another Rezoning Application that falls under the Northeast False Creek Rezoning Plan is 800 Quebec Street & 801 Main Street and 898 Main Street Sub-Area 6D.
The Northeast False Creek Rezoning Plan: Sub-Area 6B Plaza of Nations proposal is to rezone and develop the 10.28-acre site into a mixed-use development based on the Northeast False Creek Plan, including:
· a variety of terracing buildings up to 30 storeys
· commercial uses
· residential uses
· social housing
· civic facilities, including a community centre, ice rink, music presentation centre and a 69 space childcare facility
· a new community plaza and seawall
The rezoning application for Northeast False Creek Rezoning Plan: Sub-Area 6B Plaza of Nations proposes a mixed-use development comprised of three blocks of buildings; with two blocks set on either side of a community central plaza and one along the seawall, Rezoning Site sub-areas A, B and C, respectively. Commercial uses are proposed at grade and some upper floors. Community and civic facilities are proposed in the eastern building block (sub-area B) to include a civic centre (consisting of a community centre, ice rink and childcare facilities) and a music presentation centre. Residential uses, including 20% of floor area as social housing, are proposed for upper floors. Access to the site will be from a new local street that connects to Pacific Boulevard on the eastern and western sides of the site.
Integration with the Proposed New NEFC Street Network
A portion of the Rezoning Site will be dedicated as street to accommodate the new, widened and two-way Pacific Boulevard consistent with the NEFC Plan. The new Pacific Boulevard will provide protected cycling facilities and widened sidewalks that will allow safe and easy travel for pedestrians. A boulevard strip between the cycle path and the pedestrian path will provide a place for seating, furnishings, and pedestrian-scale lighting as well as providing clear separation of transportation modes. Additional building setbacks beyond the pedestrian sidewalk will create places for patios, displays, seating areas and other amenities to spill out to the street, contributing to a vibrant public life that are an integral part of the Events and Entertainment District. The side boulevard will also be an important component of the green infrastructure strategy for NEFC. Through this application, the necessary street dedication, rights-of-way, and sidewalk improvements will be secured to create the new Pacific Boulevard.
Land Use, Density and Height
The NEFC Plan looks to establish a vibrant and celebratory events and entertainment destination for locals and visitors that includes a mix of job space and mixed housing opportunities. This waterfront site provides unique waterfront experiences, connections from the seawall and waterfront to BC Place, and includes community facilities and amenities, public places and spaces, shops and restaurants, all contributing to a vibrant public realm and public life.
The NEFC Plan allows for a maximum of 157,935 sq. m (1.7 M sq. ft.) of residential and non-residential uses on the site. Public amenities, including a civic centre (consisting of a community centre, ice rink and childcare facilities) and a music presentation centre are additional to this floor area. Additional density may be considered, subject to urban design performance, delivery of public amenities, and alignment with the NEFC Plan urban design principles. The policy seeks a minimum of 32,516 sq. m (350,000 sq. ft.) of job space to support the Events and Entertainment District.
The rezoning application drawings dated December 1, 2017 propose 32,516 sq. m (350,000 sq. ft.) of commercial and 153,754 sq. m (1,655,000 sq. ft.) gross floor area of residential uses, including 20% of floor area as social housing. In addition, civic uses (comprised of a community centre, ice rink, childcare, and music presentation centre) are proposed, which in addition to commercial uses are considered as contributing to meeting the goals of the Metro Core Jobs and Economy Land Use Plan. A hotel is proposed as part of the commercial space which would be further supportive of the Events and Entertainment District. The application proposes approximately 9,219 sq. m (99,234 sq. ft.) of civic uses as noted above. It also proposes approximately 10,850 sq. m (116,790 sq. ft.) of public open spaces including a central plaza and waterfront plaza that can accommodate events, seawall, waterfront green space, and approximately 4,250 sq. m (45,750 sq. ft.) publicly accessible roof-top terraces on the east and waterfront blocks (Rezoning Site sub-areas B and C in Figure 4). Additional publicly accessible areas include setback spaces for patios and activities spilling out from ground floor uses.
Subsequent to the December 2017 rezoning application materials, the proponent reduced the proposed residential density by 4,645 sq. m (50,000 sq. ft.) to 149,109 sq. m (1,605,000 sq. ft.) to accommodate the desired public realm setbacks and relationships along the seawall and the proposed local streets. Another key change at this time was to reallocate floor space to have the civic centre and music presentation centre on three levels, rather than the five levels originally proposed, and to configure these public amenities to have the complete third level and access around the rooftop open space of the east building block, making this open space fully dedicated to public uses.
These changes were part of the materials presented at the rezoning application public open house held on March 15, 2018, and to the Urban Design Panel on April 4, 2018. In response to comments from both the Urban Design Panel and the public, staff are recommending changes to the massing and design of the west edge of the west building block (sub-area A), outlined in Condition (b)1 and addressed in the draft Design Guidelines (see also Public Input section and Appendix E).
All stated floor areas are gross floor space and specifically, the proposed residential density includes all enclosed areas such as bulk storage, enclosed balconies and residential amenity areas. The proposed CD-1 By-law provides for a total floor area for residential and commercial uses of 181,625 sq. m (approx. 1,955,000 sq. ft.) and outlines required minimum floor areas for these elements where appropriate. Floor areas for civic uses are also specified.
Form of Development and Public Realm
Since the renovation of the roof of BC Place Stadium and the introduction of the spires and light ring, the stadium has become a valued icon of the Vancouver skyline. As such, one of the key urban design principles for NEFC is to shape, locate and design future development to retain views to the stadium where possible. This has been a primary generator of the design concept for the Rezoning Site. The terracing design frames the stadium, visually connecting it to the water, and to the seawall and public spaces at Olympic Village and Science World and on the east and south sides of False Creek. The central plaza aligns with the central axis of BC Place, physically connecting the stadium to the waterfront. In support of the overall massing concept and retention of views to the stadium, the looped local street is configured to pass through a portal in the west building block (sub-area A).
A sequence of public places and spaces along the waterfront and connecting to False Creek will help support the public life of NEFC. The central plaza will be designed with a central tree-lined space that offers support and infrastructure to host a variety of events appropriate to the Events and Entertainment District of the NEFC Plan.
The central plaza will connect across the new local street to a waterfront plaza. In keeping with the NEFC urban design principles, the waterfront plaza is at the juncture of a transition from a more urban waterfront promenade extending outward from the future Georgia Plaza at the foot of Georgia Street on the adjacent site at Sub-area 6C, to a more naturalized waterfront environment in the proposed retained and enhanced Legacy Forest from Expo 86. The waterfront plaza will also be designed to host events, with potential for setting a floating stage in the water, and viewing from the seating steps that extend down from the seawall to the water. The west end of the waterfront building will terrace up from the waterfront plaza with public access to rooftop terraces on the waterfront and bridging over the local street to the public rooftop terrace on the eastern block (sub-area B) that serves the community centre and childcare facility.
The waterfront plaza and the waterfront promenade/seawall will be a focal point of restaurants and other publicly accessible uses and amenities within a fully pedestrian environment along the waterfront. The seawall edge will be designed with a variety of decks, seating and dining terraces; and will offer a variety of ways to enjoy the water’s edge including at on-water restaurants. The decked edge will be designed to allow daylight penetration to the intertidal zone that enhances habitat and biodiversity while providing a place above for people to enjoy. The Seaside Greenway will carry along the water’s edge from the west edge of the site and stay on a direct linear path alignment behind the promontory of the waterfront building, plaza and promenade, and connecting through the waterfront building to the proposed Georgia Inlet and Wharf. This configuration enables the waterfront promontory area to be fully pedestrian, and will meet several NEFC urban design principles particularly ‘A Unique Place and a New Building Typology for Vancouver’, ‘An Urban Waterfront for Pedestrians’, and ‘Public Life and Public Places’.
Pacific Boulevard is envisioned as a complete and ‘Great Street’ with legacy-scale street trees defining safe, comfortable, and generous pedestrian and cycling areas. The ground and lower level uses will be designed to contribute to Pacific Boulevard with active uses and additional setbacks proposed for outdoor areas for restaurants, cafes and displays and other elements for pedestrian comfort and enjoyment.
One of the fundamental urban design principles for NEFC is to create ‘A Unique Place and a New Building Typology for Vancouver’ that goes beyond the tower and podium. The creation of living spaces that offer a sense of ground, green and garden on upper building levels is among the directions for the new typology and has been an important part of conceptual plans for the development of the Rezoning Site. In addition to framing and celebrating the stadium, the ‘habitable topography’ of the building terrace forms provides a framework for enhanced biodiversity, extending natural environments up from the water’s edge. The lower level publicly- accessible rooftop terraces on the waterfront building and civic centre rooftop further offer a unique place and perspective for the public to overlook and experience False Creek. The proposed underground parking will be contiguous across the site.
The centralized parking will assist with way-finding for visitors to the Events and Entertainment District. Two main parkade entries are planned along with a centralized loading area to serve the site and minimize crossing and access impacts on the public realm. This centralized servicing strategy will also facilitate the division of blocks into a variety of scales of buildings that can be designed by different architects. It is important to note that the parking garage must be designed to allow sufficient depth and conditions to enable large-scale trees to thrive in the streets and plazas of the public realm above. Staff support for the contiguous parking strategy for the site is dependent on delivery of a quality public realm that is not limited by the parking beneath.
Building Name: Northeast False Creek Rezoning Plan: Sub-Area 6B Plaza of Nations
Address: 750–772 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver BC
Architect: James K.M. Cheng Architects
Interior Design: N/A
Year Built: N/A
Unit Sizes: N/A
Property Type: Residential & Commercial
Neighbourhood: False Creek North
Deposit Structure: N/A
Cost/Square Foot: N/A
Monthly Maintenance: N/A
Cost To Purchase Parking: N/A
Cost To Purchase Storage: N/A
Contact Agnieszka Stryjecka for more information on Northeast False Creek Rezoning Plan: Sub-Area 6B Plaza of Nations, floor plans & pricing.
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