REAL ES­TATE

The Georgia Straight - - Contents - By

SCar­l­ito Pablo

eparate en­trances for condo and so­cial-hous­ing res­i­dents in the same de­vel­op­ment are not un­com­mon in Van­cou­ver. In July, city coun­cil ap­proved an­other re­zon­ing for a de­vel­op­ment that has this seg­re­gated ar­range­ment.

It’s a 30-storey high-rise in the West End. Condo res­i­dents have their lobby on Burn­aby Street, but peo­ple in so­cial hous­ing have to ac­cess their homes from Thur­low Street.

An­other sim­i­lar de­vel­op­ment is com­ing up, this time on the north­east cor­ner of Robson and Cardero streets. It’s a 28-storey tower that will have 153 con­dos and 24 so­cial-hous­ing units.

The project at 1555 Robson Street—by VKJ (Cardero) In­vest­ment Lp—will re­place a two-storey com­mer­cial build­ing.

The new de­vel­op­ment will in­clude ground-floor com­mer­cial and of­fice ten­ants whose en­trances will be on Robson Street.

Ac­cord­ing to the de­sign ra­tio­nale sub­mit­ted by the project’s con­sul­tant, IBI Group, as part of the de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion, the “res­i­den­tial lob­bies” will be lo­cated on Cardero Street.

More­over, “en­trances for each com­po­nent of this de­vel­op­ment will be de­signed to be unique and easy to iden­tify.”

The pro­posed Robson de­vel­op­ment was in­cluded in the agenda for the Wed­nes­day (Oc­to­ber 31) meet­ing of the City of Van­cou­ver’s ur­ban-de­sign panel.

Sep­a­rate en­trances for so­cial hous­ing are of­ten re­ferred to as “poor doors”. Although they have be­come rel­a­tively com­mon, the prac­tice of hav­ing split en­trances has been crit­i­cized.

Karen Hoese—the act­ing as­sis­tant di­rec­tor for down­town with the city’s plan­ning, ur­ban de­sign, and sus­tain­abil­ity depart­ment—ac­knowl­edged this is­sue in a re­port about the 30-storey West End tower (1068–1080 Burn­aby Street and 1318 Thur­low Street) that was ap­proved by city coun­cil last July.

She noted that the sep­a­rate en­trances for mar­ket and so­cial-hous­ing units caused un­easi­ness among some mem­bers of the pub­lic.

“There was con­cern that this would re­sult in so­cial iso­la­tion and stigma­ti­za­tion of the res­i­dents in the so­cial hous­ing units,” Hoese noted.

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