Posted by: Scott Allan Erdman | February 17, 2012

Rogers Arena Open House

For those who are interested in following the development of Northeast False Creek, a proposal has come forth to develop the property surrounding Rogers Arena, and the public is invited to learn more and provide feedback.  Owned by Aquilini, the project proposes building three towers surrounding the stadium, for a mix of office space and residential units.  The West Tower is a 22-storey office tower, which has already been re-zoned and is just completing a prior-to approval process.  The East Tower would be built above the existing Canucks team store and would be a 31-storey mix of retail, office space, and residential.  The South Tower, located just south of the Georgia Viaduct, would be a 32-storey all-residential tower.

The project is unique given the unusual shape and location of the property, and required a lot of creativity to squeeze in three towers between the Viaducts, Pacific and Expo Boulevards, and the arena itself.  Located in the heart of Vancouver’s “Entertainment District”, the goal is to bring in more round-the-clock activity to this neighbourhood, in addition to improving the public realm that surrounds Rogers Arena.  The project boasts several ‘green’ sustainability features, including green roofing and urban agriculture plots for the residents.  In terms of design, the South Tower also looks to become one of Vancouver’s most interesting-looking buildings, with a twisting, curving shape that breaks the mould of traditional condominium towers in the city.

There are definitely some challenges for the site, however, and hopefully the Open House will be able to address questions such as these:

  • The towers are built right in between the city’s two major stadia.  Residential development has been creeping towards BC Place and Rogers Arena over the years, but this would be the first time residents would be living almost right on top of the arenas.  With thousands of people flooding out after events, or gathering to celebrate before and after games, the potential for conflict due to noise complaints has never been higher.  How will these noise issues be mitigated?
  • At the moment the area feels dark, cold, and disconnected from the rest of the neighbourhood.  What improvements will be made to the land directly beneath the Viaducts and around the stadia to improve the streetscape and make the space more inviting and liveable, not just for those attending events at Rogers Arena, but for the new residents in the surrounding towers?
  • How will these three towers connect/interact with the Viaducts?  And how will these buildings be affected if the City decides to remove one or both of the Viaducts in the future?
  • Are the density and building massing of these buildings appropriate for the scale of the area and the pieces of land they sit on?
  • What are the Community Amenity Contributions, and other public benefits, associated with this proposal?

The development of Northeast False Creek into a brand new neighbourhood is an exciting vision, and this project marks the beginning of the transformation of this corner of the city.  Designing and planning what will eventually become Vancouver’s highest density neighbourhood, on the city’s last major piece of undeveloped waterfront, poses many unique opportunities and challenges for the developers.

Anyone interested in learning more about this exciting proposal should plan on attending the upcoming Open House.  This is best opportunity for the public to learn more of the specifics of the proposal, and share their feedback with the developers and the City.

Date: Monday, February 20, 2012
The Queen Elizabeth Theatre Salons: 650 Hamilton Street
: Open House: 5 – 8 pm (drop-in)
Walking Tour: 6 pm (rain or shine)
Presentation: 7 pm

For more details on the application, or to fill out an online feedback form, visit: this link!

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