An integrated social services and residential complex has been proposed for Vancouver's Commercial Drive in an effort to increase the area's density. Much of Commercial Drive's population has been pushed out of the area due to gentrification, and Boffo Properties has put together a development plan that would be provide self-sustaining low-income housing while bringing residents back to the area. The project at Commercial Drive and Venables Street was originally proposed to be 15 storeys tall. The area's current residents have voiced concerns over the increase in population density and big developer interest, leading to the project's current scaled-back height of 12 storeys.
The development will house 200 residential units, with 30 supportive housing units that will be funded by the building's market-rate housing. In addition, it will house a drop-in mental health centre run by The Kettle Society, which will provide medical treatment, meals, and haircuts, and will even offer art and music rooms. Four years in the making, 25 percent of the development's units will be two- or three-bedroom units, in an effort to offer more housing options for families.
In its most recently submitted design, the project consists of four interconnected buildings of glass and brick, a bright vertical addition to the horizontal neighbourhood. However, the height of the building is still up for debate, as city planning officials have recommended that the building be nine storeys instead of 12, and the Commercial Drive-facing side be four storeys high. This lower-height concept will cease to be as self-sustainable, and will need additional funding to offset the supportive housing units.
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