1401 Comox: a glass tower in the West End?

by jenstden

Concerns about parking, traffic, and the growing income gap were on West End residents’ minds on Thursday.

At an open house held at the Coast Plaza, residents got a chance to look at a revised rezoning application for 1401 Comox Street. The proposed development is a 21-story, all-rental tower, which is being proposed under the STIR program.

A model of the proposed 21-story tower at Comox and Broughton

The developer has lowered the height of the proposed 22-story building, reduced the amount of space the building takes up on the lot, and has increased the number of townhouses from four to six. Because of the reduced building height, an amenity room for tenants which was to have been built on the top floor of the building will now be located on the first floor of the building.

These changes seem to have come at the expense of a proposed community space, which would have been available to groups like Q-munity and Gordon Neighbourhood House.

I noticed a real us-versus-them feeling at the meeting, a feeling that introducing a whole wack of people who could afford to pay a minimum of $1,100 for a one-bedroom apartment would change the character of the neighbourhood. There also seemed to be an assumption that the renters would be moving in from outside the neighbourhood.

Several people said they were worried that if this building were approved, more tall towers would follow, and the West End would eventually turn into a “forest of towers” like Yaletown.

The developer is also proposing to build 79 parking spaces, including 2 car-share cars. For some at the meeting, this conjured up visions of traffic congestion and battles over already-scarce parking spots.