Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shannon Mews

Shannon Mews, the 10 acre site at the corner of Granville and 57th looks set for eventual redevelopment.

The Wall Financial Corporation has applied to rezone the property from RS-6 to CD-1 and has begun public consultations on the process. In an August 25, 2009 Policy Report, the city gives tacit approval of the project as long as certain criteria are met. The site is a prime candidate for the city's Eco-Density program, with Busby, Perkins & Will on board to create a development that has more rental housing, achieves LEED Gold status, and uses solar energy and efficient water strategies.

The site has an interesting development history, dating back to the early 20th century when the Rogers family built the original and still existing Beax-Arts mansion, gardens and perimeter wall. The mansion and wall are now designated "A" status heritage structures and will be incorporated into any future master plan.

In the early 1970's the site was rezoned to allow 162 rental units to be built. Curiously, there is no mention in the Policy Report of the historic value of these units or of their designer, Arthur Erickson. The report offers a recommendation that "a rezoning application for the entire site provides a good opportunity for the City to ensure that rental units are replaced or increased."

Much like another project Busby, Perkins & Will are involved in, this seems like an opportunity for an architectural dialogue that traces Vancouver's modern development history. Perhaps there is a plan that would retain the mansion as well as a portion of the Erickson-designed rental units and incorporate them into one cohesive vision that would align with the city's Eco-Density plans and the changing nature of residential housing.

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