Pinnacle International wants to build 54-story tower in Vancouver; arousing local opposition

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gbl architects 601 beach
The 54-storey tower proposed for 601 Beach Ave. is on the right. GBL Architects

Vancouver’s Urban Design Panel (UDP) will meet on Feb. 20 to assess Pinnacle International’s proposal to build a 54-storey mixed-use tower at 601 Beach Cr. at the north end of Granville Street Bridge.

The building designed by GBL Architects would include 303 market residential units and 152 social housing units at 601 Beach Ave.

The structure would be located opposite Westbank’s 49-storey Vancouver House “twisty” tower, which is under construction, to create what’s been called the “Granville Gateway” leading in and out of downtown Vancouver, The Vancouver Courier reports.

Pinnacle’s rezoning application proposes a height increase on the site from 17 to 54 storeys under this policy, under the city’s Higher Building Policy.

All proposals that meet the criteria for higher buildings undergo an “enhanced review” by the UDP, which is supplemented by the addition of two local architects and two international design experts, according to the City of Vancouver.

The additional local architects Karen Marler of HCMA Architecture + Design and Peter Cardew of Peter Cardew Architecta and the international architects are Laura Jimenez of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gil Architecture and Robin Williams of Morphosis Architects.

The next steps after the UDP review include interdepartmental assessments by city staff, a city council public hearing, and there will be opportunities to for the public to submit comments.

601 beach area
The development area now (Google maps)

There is likely to be opposition. The Courier reported that Vancouver Beach District members “showed up at an open house last November to raise objections about rezoning the site from 17 to 54 storeys.

“They cited concerns including it being too high, the lack of existing infrastructure in the neighbourhood to handle increased density, the potential for traffic problems and a lack of consultation,” the publication reported.

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