NEWS

Beach Towers expansion for Vancouver's West End shelved

06/09/2015 09:45 EDT | Updated 06/09/2016 05:59 EDT
Plans to add rental housing to an iconic block on Beach Avenue in Vancouver's West End are now on hold.

Devonshire Properties has advised the tenants of 607 rental apartments at Beach Towers at 1600 Beach Avenue that it won't build new rental units and a new proposed recreation centre.

So far the company has not provided a reason for not proceeding with the expansion that would have added 133 units in the new multi-storey buildings and town homes.

According to the rezoning application, which was approved more than two years ago, the new builds would have been squeezed in and around the four towers that already exist at the site, which give residents stunning views of the water and access to the beach.

"Well it's disappointing to see some rental housing that we have approved not get built ... especially in the West End where basically the vacancy is zero," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

"We'll keep pressing on every front to get more rental housing built," he said. "It's obviously a very valuable commodity but in this case they've opted not to go forward and that's unfortunate."

Neighbours relieved

However neighbours, who spoke against the project at public hearings, are celebrating. 

"Well we're just really delighted and relieved by the news," said Janice Wong, a visual artist who lives in the West End. "There were already 1200 residents on that block so we felt it was dense enough as it is."

Wong says she had long hoped something would happen so that the project would fall through, describing the public consultations about the development as frustrating and not transparent.

Devonshire Properties says if the project is reactivated, ample notification will be provided and tenant information meetings will be held.

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