2699 Kingsway Back at UDP
On 19 October 2011 the Urban Design Panel (UDP) took a second look at the proposed plans for 2699 Kingsway. There were several significant changes from the previous planning presented on 4 May 2011. Here is a direct link to the UDP minutes for the review.
1 The garbage room formerly located at the rear of the plaza has been moved inside one of the buildings. This was made possible by relocating all of the commercial parking to the inside of the eastern 4-storey low rise building.
2 The amenities space for the development has been moved to the northeast corner of the ground floor of the 12-storey tower, at the rear of the central plaza.
3 The central plaza, which is to function as the gateway to the future Renfrew Ravine Linear Park, has been widened from 40 to 46 feet. In addition, the ground storey of the southeast corner of the 4-storey low rise building east of the central plaza has been cut back. This reduction will provide more obvious connection to the planned pedestrian crosswalk from Norquay Park.
4 The back of the development has been green screened, with terraced planters provided on several storeys of all buildings. A greenhouse has been added to the roof garden on the western 4-storey building.
Panel members concurred that the plan had improved. Their remaining concerns were:
1 There was no detail on how the applicant could achieve LEED Gold status. Several panel members doubted this would be possible for buildings cladded with so much glass.
2 Opening up the back of the plaza will impair its ability to function as an “urban room.” [This plan change was made in response to community input, which questioned the ability of the original plaza design to function as a gateway to the future Renfrew Ravine Linear Park. Since the park does not yet exist, in the short term the space will function primarily as an “urban room.” A possible compromise: erect a temporary wall at the rear of the plaza, to be removed when the greenway opens.]
3 The relationship between the tower (which has a more traditional brick façade) and the two 4-storey buildings on either side (which have a more contemporary feel) needs more work. The tower façade needs to be more interesting, and more work needs to be done on the side of the tower that faces the plaza.
The plan is scheduled to go to the Development Permit Board on 12 December 2011 at 3:00 pm. Members of the community can make submissions at this hearing.
Contributed by Jeanette Jones