Details of the proposed supporting residential building in the south-east corner of the intersection of King Edward Avenue and Knight Street in Vancouver’s Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighborhood have been released ahead of the start of the public consultation.
The application for rezoning for 1406-1410 East King Edward Avenue requires a 185-foot-tall, 14-story permanent modular tower that replaces a vacant lot adjacent to Kingcrest Park and King Edward Village.
BC Housing’s intention to develop this place with affordable housing was first made known in February 2021, and since then they have chosen the Vancouver Native Housing Society and the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Center Society as the building’s operators. Initially, this proposal required 90 study units with supported housing in a 12-storey building.
Based on the refined details, with two additional floors, there will now be 109 study units with supportive housing for indigenous individuals who experience or are at risk of becoming homeless. Each unit will have its own bathroom and kitchenette, and residents will also have access to various common facilities, multifunctional spaces and dining areas within the lower floors, as well as indoor and outdoor recreation spaces on the tower’s roof terrace.
Designed by Stantec Architecture, the tower would be built using a system of stacked steel structures using the prefabricated process established by Bird / Stack Modular. Not entirely unlike Vancouver’s temporary modular residential structures, it is expected that this permanent building will be built relatively quickly using this method.
In addition to cost-effectiveness and speed, the structure is being designed for Passive House green building standards.
The facade of the building will be highlighted by wood-like panels that soften its modular appearance. Large empty walls extending over the height of the tower could be covered by murals with native themes.
The total floor area is 77,313 sq ft, creating a floor area ratio density for a floor area that is 11.73 times greater than the size of the 6,588 sq ft plot. An underground level contains four car parking bays, some bicycle parking spaces and utility and equipment areas.
The City Council is expected to reach the public hearing with this reorganization application early next year. If approved, construction could begin in mid-2022.
This King Edward / Knight project is one of two permanent supporting housing towers proposed by BC Housing this year, with the second major project being a 13-storey modular tower containing 140 supporting housing units at a location on 2086-2098 West 7th Avenue and 2091 West 8th Avenue – next to SkyTrain’s future Arbutus Station. The Kitsilano proposal has so far been particularly controversial for reasons that include its proximity to St. Augustine’s private elementary school.
Both projects are working toward the provincial government’s goal announced in September 2020 of building 350 additional permanent supportive housing units in Vancouver.