A three-tower development proposed for Coronation Avenue will not be going ahead as planned.
City council went with a staff recommendation to deny rezoning and development permits over concerns of building heights and density. Safari Capital wants to develop 16 properties on the south side of Coronation and build mixed-use towers on a podium between St. Paul and Richter streets.
“We’re really hoping you can see this a really good first idea,” said David Jacobson with the ownership group.
Staff told council the massing and visual impact of the project still needs work, and there are concerns over it fitting in with neighbouring properties of lower scale in the four to six-storey range. Staff suggested there are better spots downtown for the development.
“We did a lot of work in the Official Community Plan (OCP) in stepping down areas of the city,” said Coun. Luke Stack. “I think is going in the opposite direction. I think it’s too much for this site.”
Coun. Loyal Wooldridge was also concerned that the podium for the towers would stretch nearly the length of a city block.
“I feel like we’re pushing the envelope on where to park this project,” he said.
Despite the concerns, council encouraged the developer to continue working with city staff to come back with a reimagined project.
“I think there is potential here and I think it would be an opportunity missed if we couldn’t find an amicable solution,” said Coun. Brad Sieben. “I hope to see this again.”
The project includes 708 residential units with 70 per cent of them designated for rentals and the rest slated for condos. An 80-room hotel is also part of the development.
“I see many benefits,” said Mayor Colin Basran. “The housing, the hotel, it’s a nice looking project, but it’s beyond where it needs to be. We’re not quite there yet, but I think we could get there.”
Council voted unanimously not to approve the rezoning and OCP changes needed to move the project forward. Coun. Maxine DeHart excused herself from the vote citing a conflict of interest, as she is employed in the hotel business.