There is finally a formal application to redevelop the long vacant northeast corner of the intersection of West 41st Avenue and Cambie Street in Vancouver’s Oakridge Municipal Town Centre.
The prominent corner at 495 West 41st Avenue, just kitty corner from the Canada Line’s Oakridge-41st Avenue Station and Oakridge Centre shopping mall, was previously a gas station well over a decade ago.
It was owned by Cormandel Properties up until June 2020, when it changed hands to PCI Developments in a deal worth $40 million, according to records. Cormandel Properties acquired the property about six years ago for $16 million for its plans to develop a 12-storey building with condominiums and retail, but the proposal stalled.
The proposal, designed by Perkins & Will Architects, calls for a 150-ft-tall, 14-storey, mixed-use building. Under the city’s Cambie Corridor Plan (CCP), this prominent site next to both SkyTrain and the R4 RapidBus permits a height of up to 260 ft.
The developer has stated the projected financial returns for the project are relatively low due to the rental-only residential component that follows the requirements of the CCP. No community amenity contribution is expected to be required, and the developer is seeking a waiver on the development cost levy.
The upper levels will contain 112 secured market rental homes, with a unit mix of 60 one-bedroom units, 50 two-bedroom units, and two three-bedroom units. These units will have pet-friendly policies.
Large balconies for every home will provide private outdoor space, with the grid pattern providing a simple design concept deemed to be a “quiet response” with a “restrained architectural language,” compared to the future Oakridge Centre towers.
“The layout of the balcony modules reinforce and strengthen the regularity of the building grid. While the grid is strongly reflected on the facade as a result, the operable screens [on the north- and south-facing units] and the random patterns created by their users introduce an additional layer of animation and variety that enables constant transformation,” reads the design rationale.
Shared resident amenity spaces are located on the fourth and fifth level terraces, and the tower rooftop level, featuring an indoor amenity space that opens out to the outdoor amenity.
The lower two levels will have about 20,000 sq. ft. of retail and office floor area, used as a new replacement TD Bank branch, which is currently located at the northwestern corner of the intersection.
“The project’s feasibility in delivering new, urgently needed high-quality rental housing at this desirable location on rapid transit would be enhanced through timely development approvals and accelerated start of construction,” reads the application.
“The Future Oakridge area will see a major transformation as part of the growth identified in the Municipal Town Centre plan, bringing new activity hubs that include retail, cultural, public spaces, and numerous housing options that will completely re-define the area. The Cambie and 41st site will be incorporated into a highly walkable area that will have an abundance of amenities that will add to public life.”
The building is significantly stepped back to provide space for a wider sidewalk and a bike lane that meanders out of the West 41st Avenue and Cambie Street roadways, and onto the curb.
Three underground levels will provide 64 vehicle parking stalls and 202 bike parking spaces.
The total floor area is 104,434 sq. ft., creating a floor space ratio density of 6.59 times the size of the 15,835 sq. ft. lot.
Under the CCP, this intersection is envisioned to have the tallest buildings within the Oakridge Municipal Town Centre outside of the shopping mall property.