Decisions on ‘cohousing lite’ and Hollywood Theatre proposals expected July 17

Both projects are among those on City of Vancouver’s public hearing agenda this week

The fate of Vancouver’s first "cohousing lite" rezoning proposal, as well as a project that would see the restoration of the Hollywood Theatre, will be decided at a public hearing July 17.

The Courier profiled the “cohousing lite” project in a January feature story. Read all about it HERE.

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The city’s summary and recommendation for the rezoning proposal can be found HERE.

Cohousing lite is a streamlined version of cohousing, a collaborative form of living, in which a group of people decide to live together based on shared values. Residents own private units in their building but also share common space and duties around the complex. Decisions are typically made through group consensus, and common meals usually take place several times a week. In the “lite"  version, residents give control of design and building plans to a developer rather than taking on those jobs themselves.

In this case, the cohousing group, which calls itself Our Urban Village, partnered with developer Tomo Spaces Inc. The architecture firm on the project is Marianne Amodio Architecture Studio.

The rezoning proposal is for 5809 to 5811 Main St. — the corner of Main Street and Ontario Place between East 41st and 42 avenues.


A perspective of the proposed cohousing lite complex. The view is of the courtyard from the lane. Re
A perspective of the proposed cohousing lite complex. The view is of the courtyard from the lane. Rendering Marianne Amodio Architecture Studio


The proposed three-and-a-half-storey building includes 12 units. How much each unit will cost is unclear — the developer needs to get through rezoning before construction costs can be finalized. Prices of units in cohousing complexes, however, are usually based on market prices for condos in the neighbourhood. Among advantages for residents are they get extra space to use outside their own unit (Tomo’s proposal calls for 2,000 square feet of common area) and they can benefit from a sharing economy decided among residents within the building for things such as tools or childcare etc.

Our Urban Village Cohousing expects to save between $50,000 and $60,000 per unit on development costs by not having an underground parkade. Other cost-cutting measures are also envisioned through the project such as using a standard floor plan, rather than custom ones for each unit, external hallways, shared laundry and passive house design, which will recapture 90 per cent of the heat.

The proposal also includes plans for three affordable homeownership or three moderate income rental units in the building. The units, secured by a housing agreement, will be privately owned and administered.




A development proposal seeks to restore the Hollywood Theatre and build an adjoining condo-commercia
A development proposal seeks to restore the Hollywood Theatre and build an adjoining condo-commercial building. Image via City of Vancouver planning


The heritage designation of the Hollywood Theatre, at 3123 to 3129 West Broadway near Macdonald Street, is also under consideration at the July 17 public hearing.

Read the Courier’s February story on the project HERE.

Read the city’s summary and recommendation HERE.

The Hollywood Theatre was built in 1935 and closed in 2011.


Hollywood Theatre. Photo City of Vancouver
Hollywood Theatre. Photo City of Vancouver


The proposal is to restore the theatre, which would be used as a performing arts centre, and build an adjoining mixed-use retail and condo building.

In Heritage Vancouver's most recent Top 10 list of endangered heritage resources, the organization made mention of the Hollywood Theatre under number five — Neighbourhood Businesses.

The theatre, it stated, is an example of an important social gathering space.

“The Hollywood is also historically and architecturally significant, and was the oldest family-owned and operated cinema in the country when it closed in May of 2011 after a 75-year run. Architecturally, the building’s glamorous, exotic and streamlined Art Deco features place it on the Vancouver Heritage Register as a “B” listed building," the organization wrote.

Click HERE to see all the items on the July 17 public hearing agenda.



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