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Thursday, June 20, 2024

BlueSky plans development at Thurlow and Harwood in West End

BlueSky Properties and Henriquez Partners Architects plan to make a rezoning application for a new condo development at Thurlow and Harwood in the West End.

The developer held a pre-application open house this afternoon for the two tower development, tentatively named Thurlow + Harwood, which will be a mix of market condos and social housing, replacing several three-storey rental apartment buildings.

The properties have the potential to be rezoned for a 300′ residential tower under the West End Community Plan, so it’s likely this proposal will be approved.

Thurlow + Harwood project statistics

  • North tower: 33-storeys
    • 61 market residential units
    • 98 social housing units
  • South tower: 32-storeys
    • 143 market residential units
    • No social housing units in south tower
  • 60 per cent of the market units suitable for families
  • 50 per cent of social housing units suitable for families
  • Range of unit sizes, from one bedrooms to two and three bedroom units

Thurlow + Harwood photos

Rendering looking southeast
Rendering looking southeast. Credit: BlueSky Properties
North and south towers at Thurlow + Harwood project
Thurlow + Harwood towers. Credit: BlueSky Properties
Tower base
View up Thurlow St. showing tower base. Credit: BlueSky Properties
Tower base
Rendering showing towers and how they will integrate with the street grid. Credit: BlueSky Properties
Balconies at Thurlow + Harwood. Credit: BlueSky Properties
Rendering of lobby with marble and wood accents. Credit: BlueSky Properties
Project location
Location of the project showing North and South tower sites. Credit: BlueSky Properties

Thurlow + Harwood design characteristics

  • Concrete construction
  • Punched windows
  • “Clean modernism”
  • Landscaped setbacks
  • Large “sculpted” balcony areas
  • Separate entrances for market and social housing in north tower
  • Rooftop amenity terraces for market housing in both towers
  • Amenity terrace for social housing on level 3 of north tower
  • Amenities will include outdoor BBQ areas, seating and dining areas, children’s play area and urban agriculture plots

The architect describes the concept for the development as “towers in the park,” with large setbacks and greenery extended up the facade of the towers. A tree-lined boulevard is proposed along Thurlow Street with a double row of trees on either side of the sidewalk.

The towers have been sculpted to help protect privacy and views from existing residential towers nearby and to minimize impacts to the surrounding neighbourhood.

The properties at 1065, 1066 and 1078 Harwood Street, as well as 1332 Thurlow Street, were all sold and assembled within the past two years.

1332 Thurlow and 1065 Harwood were sold for $24 million in 2015, according to VancouverMarket.ca. 1078 Harwood was sold for $10.8 million, also in 2015.

There has been a land rush in the neighbourhood with several proposals at various stages of rezoning, including a residential tower by Intracorp and Strand.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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  1. This design is so refreshing. It looks like we have finally reached the “adulthood” of condo tower architecture. No more tacked on boxes to break up the scale, wild splashes of colour to make it fun… Just confident forms, elegantly detailed. I hope we see much more of this.

  2. I think it’s terrific that so many units will be ‘suited to families’ (larger, multi-bedroom). However, given the location, I doubt households with school-aged children will chose this location, given the low ratings of schools in the West End. These units will no doubt be priced in excess of $1m and many affluent families are hesitant to send their children to mediocre public schools. These apartments will overwhelmingly go to affluent, childless households who either already live in the city, or will choose Vancouver to be a secondary residence.

    The social housing thing… I won’t go into that here, but I’m not sure about the proximity, or the current model, generally.

    • It is interesting that the social housing component (which is required by the CoV) is concentrated in one tower, as opposed to spread out throughout the lower levels of both. Thankfully, Vancouver’s public schools are considered high-quality… however we need more of them downtown.

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