The Development Permit Board unanimously approved Wall Financial Corporation’s application for phase one of Shannon Estates Monday night.
This stage of the sprawling development at 57th and Granville features three multi-storey buildings—one will be mixed use with commercial and residential space, underground parking, a public park, the restoration of three designated heritage buildings, landscaping elements and the perimeter walls, and the development of a local energy system. It’s expected to take roughly three years to complete the first stage of the development, designed by Perkins and Will Architects, after which the second and final phase will commence.
Development Permit Board chairwoman Vicki Potter, a non-voting member of the board, said four neighbourhood residents spoke at Monday’s meeting. The board also heard advice from the advisory panel, which unanimously supported the project. No changes were made to the staff recommendations in the report.
“The [Development Permit Board] felt the application met the conditions as set out by council at the rezoning and met the technical aspects of the CD-1 bylaw. The board particularly remarked on the exceptional landscape and public realm that will be very accessible to the public, as well as retention of the significant heritage buildings,” Potter told the Courier in an email. “The speakers raised concerns primarily about traffic and construction impacts.”
Rezoning for the 10-acre site was approved close to a year ago despite opposition. The property had been zoned residential and features a mansion and perimeter wall listed on the Vancouver Heritage Registry, an outdoor swimming pool and 162 units of rental housing, most of them in low-rise apartments built by [Arthur] Erickson Massey Architects in the 1970s.
The developer’s plans include restoring the three heritage-designated buildings on the site and restoring heritage landscape elements, including a portion of a public park and replacing the swimming pool.
Gunther Schrack, a member of the Shannon Mews Neighbours’ Association, which has raised concerns about potential traffic and construction problems and has criticized the development as “spot rezoning” in the past, said he’s not surprised the project was approved.
The group is pleased about plans to restore the heritage buildings, but questions how many people will use the park. When Schrack has stopped by the Italian and rose gardens, few people were around.
“We always felt the park being put there on the request of the city will not be used by many people,” he said. “We would be surprised if indeed it would become popular.”
Schrack’s major concern now is how the city will monitor the site during construction—a question he maintains hasn’t been addressed.
In coming month the developer has to address any conditions outlined in the approved development permit application before seeking a building permit.
A building permit requires another level of detail concerning issues such as the building code, but it doesn’t go out for public consultation.
It’s unclear how long it will take before ground is broken.
A call to Bruno Wall of Wall Financial Corporation was not returned by the Courier’s deadline.