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Friday, January 27, 2023

West End strata owner pitches redevelopment of their building

An individual strata condo owner at The Park condominium tower in the 1700-block of Alberni Street has launched a website, pitching the redevelopment of their property, built in 1997.

The property consists of a 25-storey tower and a two-storey condominium complex. Since the development was built, the West End Community Plan has been enacted, allowing for increased density and building heights. While the current condo tower is approximately 220′, the current plan allows for a tower up to 385′.

Unit owner Rolando Vallarino created the website to pitch the idea to developers.

“Without density we don’t get great restaurants, services, and culture. At the very least we could replace seven townhome units with 100 units, in what is probably one of the better addresses in all of downtown,” he says.

Developers have been busy acquiring strata complexes in the area, with plans for major redevelopment projects. Across the street, Bosa Properties acquired a low-rise strata condominium building with plans for a two-tower scheme designed by Heatherwick Studio of London.

Rendering - 1700 Alberni towers
Rendering of upcoming development at 1728 Alberni Street and 735 Bidwell Street. Credit: Heatherwick Studio

The website pitching the redevelopment of The Park presents three options:

Option 1

Redevelop the townhouse portion of The Park and build a new adjacent tower, with the existing strata condo tower converted to rental apartments.

Option 1: The Park redevelopment
Option 1: The Park redevelopment. Credit: 1723Alberni.com

Option 2

Demolish the entire complex and rebuild two new towers at the maximum allowable height.

Rendering of what option two could look like. Credit: 1723Alberni.com

Option 3

Option 3 would involve a developer buying both 1723 Alberni Street and 1788 West Georgia Street to build two new towers right away and eventually redevelop the 1723 Alberni Tower when it has reached its useful lifespan.

Option 3 showing three new towers. Credit: 1723Alberni.com

Given the lot can accommodate 2 towers and the current density being a third of the new developments are being built next door, this means that the complex, as it stands right now, is very low density, which makes its redevelopment inevitable. I believe it’s only a matter of time before a developer will start to notice the potential and start to circle the block so to speak. This is why it’s important for the stakeholders to organize and sell ourselves as a development opportunity rather than wait for a developer to start strategically purchasing units to gain control as they did in the 4 mid-rise condo buildings across the street. The latter would result in a wide range of purchase prices and not necessarily a fair and orderly assessment valuation across all units. The wonderful advantages the 1723 Alberni parcel provides for redevelopment are not only undeniable, they are compelling. It’s a waste that one of the best parcels on the Georgia Street Corridor is so undervalued and underdeveloped when it provides such ripe opportunities.

1723Alberni.com

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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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