To Like the July 2012 Proposal for 2220 Kingsway
In a first detailed comment on the 2220 Kingsway proposal, Eye on Norquay sets itself the task of seeking things to like about the proposal. More and other will follow.
1 — Traffic Access
Main traffic access would be from Kingsway via a laneway along the east side of the site. This configuration would help to keep vehicle traffic on Kingsway and off of adjacent residential streets. A signal-light-controlled crossing at that new intersection would improve local pedestrian life and reduce speeds along Kingsway. Current Kingsway curb cuts would be reduced from two to one.
1 — Traffic Reduction on Gladstone
East 30th Avenue along the site would be constrained to an L-turn south onto Gladstone. This bicycle route traffic calming measure was already proposed by the City of Vancouver. With the proposed redevelopment, diversion at this five-way intersection becomes critical to the livability of the surrounding neighborhood.
1 — Stepdown to East 30th Avenue
A row of townhouses and four-storey flanks to the south tower provides reasonable transition to the existing single-family residential area on the south side of East 30th Avenue. (The same reasonable transition needs to be achieved along Gladstone, especially since Gladstone is the western boundary of the Norquay mass rezoning.)
1 — Location and Footprint of Two Towers
The northeast tower is best situated to mitigate impacts of bulk and shadow. The south tower (best shape) would have moderate impact — given the presupposition of 3.8 FSR for the site: bulk to the south, shadow to the west. (Nothing positive can be said about the west tower.)
½ — Human Scale Along Kingsway
This can only be half a reason, because the dark corollary is three looming 14-storey towers. A five-storey height at Kingsway is a devil’s deal, since the Norquay Plan has established an unwanted out-of-human-scale 10-storey base height along all of Kingsway in Norquay. Future buildout could make the proposed 2220 Kingsway seem even more out of context. It might be better to consider 10 storeys adjacent to Kingsway in order to reduce the western tower to something less overwhelming. Perhaps six storeys with upper-level setback?