1050 Expo

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1050 Expo Boulevard, Vancouver, BC

1050 Expo
1050-Expo-Van-Exterior.jpg

1050 Expo - Exterior (As seen through The Bloom Group's signature red circle)
Building Information
Developer 127 Society for Housing
Architect DYS Architects
Management Company 127 Society for Housing
Number of Units 89
Number of Floors 6
Year Built 2014
Construction Method Wood Frame
Type of Roof TBD
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1050 Expo Boulevard, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit Approximately two blocks
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning CD-1 (324)
Title of Land Cooperative


Contents

Background

In Vancouver, the days of cheaply built, poorly located clusters of low-income housing have, for the most part, passed.

However, this doesn't mean that the process of designating space, funding construction, building, and populating the city’s more modern social housing developments is by any means a speedy one. Plans to develop the 1050 Expo site began in 1990, and were “reconfirmed” in 1993. Building developers, The 127 Society for Housing, are still in negotiation for land transfer and building permits.

1050 Expo, as seen from Pacific Street.

Sites like 1050 Expo are part of Vancouver’s formidable effort to create more “inclusive” neighborhoods – housing developments designed to accommodate a broader cross-section of family sizes and income levels. The vast majority of locals can understand that need, since home ownership in the core of the city can often mean a seven-figure mortgage.

That said, there is some controversy among Vancouverites in the trendy neighborhood of Yaletown, where 1050 Expo is slated for construction. The original plans proposed a nine story, 133 unit building specifically open to homeless and at-risk individuals. Also, the building was (and still is) designed to include on-site care and life-skills training for a number of occupants with physical and mental disabilities.

Some Yaletown residents took issue with plans to have the building staffed by a minimum of two care workers for such a large number of tenants. Others raised questions of neighborhood safety, and expressed frustration with a “lack of communication and consultation” with city officials. Whether because of high cost estimates, public response, or a combination of these and other factors, developers have forwarded a new proposal for a smaller building.

Today, 1050 Expo is moving forward as a six story structure, with a total of 89 studio units. Discussion among Yaletown residents has quieted.[1]
1050 Expo's developers, the 127 Society for Housing.


Location

Curbside coffee culture in Yaletown.

City planners, and the building’s developers chose a strangely fitting home for 1050 Expo. Vancouver’s Yaletown neighborhood began as little more than an industrial park. A plot of low-grade, polluted land at the tail end of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

In the late 1970s, the city bought back the land and redeveloped it as the world stage for Expo ’86 – one of the last major North American world fairs, and the event from which Expo Boulevard takes its name.

Since the Expo, Yaletown has cultivated a reputation as one of the "it" places for Vancouver’s young professional set. The neighborhood is bursting with boutique shops, bistro restaurants, beautiful urban parks and green spaces, all a few minutes’ walk from the heart of city nightlife on Granville Street.

Put simply, Yaletown is something of a testament to how much and how quickly a place can grow. Future residents at 1050 Expo will undoubtedly play some very unique roles as Yaletown continues to evolve.[2]


Construction

As noted above, the original plans for 1050 Expo showed a nine story concrete building, with 133 studio units. Factors including, but by no means limited to, community response led building designers and developers to propose a new building plan: 89 studio units in a six story wood frame structure.

This smaller building is the one currently under review by the city, with respect to construction permits.

Despite its smaller frame and lower unit count, the latest iteration of 1050 Expo still features large windows for lots of natural light, and a community-oriented open plan design. Some critics say that this new approach is more interesting aesthetically, as well.

1050 Expo will feature a striking two-tone color scheme with red accents, and unique level divisions along the building’s strongly contrasting triangular section.


Layout and Features

Each of 1050 Expo’s 89 studio suites is laid out for maximum usable space.

Since the building is designed for the encouragement of community activity and life skills training, developers have placed a great deal of emphasis on common areas.

A large amenity room (with attached kitchen), a shared terrace, and a dedicated library are among 1050’s more impressive proposed spaces.

The building will also feature private meeting rooms for staff and staff/resident consultations.

Floor Plans

An up-close rendering of 1050 Expo's front door.

Condopedia staff are currently in direct contact with the 127 Society for Housing and the City of Vancouver in an effort to track down some preliminary floor plans for 1050 Expo.

This section will be updated as things progress. Meanwhile, take a look at this unique and very close-up composite rendering of the building's proposed front entrance.

Amenities

1050 Expo doesn't have any amenity photos or renderings available just yet, but this is the on-site food bank at The Wellspring, another 127 Society development. There are plans for a similar space at Expo.

Amenities at 1050 Expo include:

  • Common room
  • Library
  • Computer room
  • TV lounge
  • Shared terrace
  • Shared laundry facilities
  • Private meeting room


Bylaws

1050 Expo Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No



  • 1050 Expo welcomes pets on a case-by-case basis (i.e. if they are deemed important to a specific tenant's health and/or recovery).
  • Suites are available for rent, only through application to Vancouver's Supportive Housing Registration Service.
  • There are no age restrictions on tenancy.


Sustainability

By the time physical construction begins on 1050 Expo, Vancouver will be that much closer to its very particular goal: The city is currently in the running for the title of “World’s Greenest City” by the year 2020. With that in mind, Expo 1050 is expected to reach LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Level certification.

Very little other information is currently available with respect to 1050 Expo’s provisions regarding sustainability and environmental impact. However, the vast majority of Vancouver condominiums built after the year 2000 do come with such fundamental upgrades as low-energy fixtures, and major appliances with efficient Energy Star ratings. Given the project's goals, 1050 Expo will be no exception.

It is worth noting that 1050 Expo offers, and indeed, exists in order to promote different kinds of sustainability, as well. Namely, economic and social. At a time when the lines between have and have-not are growing steadily more defined, 1050 Expo and the 127 Society for Housing are providing opportunities for independence and a more complete societal spectrum.[3]


Trivia

Brookland Court's Walking Club stops for a photo opportunity.

The 127 Society for Housing and The Bloom Group: A History of Need

Formed in 1981, the 127 Society for Housing aims to provide safe, affordable housing for low-income individuals and/or seniors and/or individuals with disabilities. Beyond basic housing, the 127 Society partners with local organizations like The Bloom Group (formerly the St. James Community Service Centre) to offer programs that assist tenants in meeting their personal and social needs.[4]

The 127 Society for Housing currently owns and operates 255 units over three buildings in Vancouver's Downtown South: Jubilee House on Helmcken Street (Opened 1986); Brookland Court, also on Helmcken (Opened 1989); and The Wellspring on Nelson Street (Opened 1997).

In total, the three buildings offer 152 bachelor apartments for singles, 13 one bedroom apartments for couples and 90 one bedroom single occupancy suites. Tenants were either homeless or at risk of homelessness. Some were living in old hotels and rooming houses in the Downtown South or nearby downtown neighborhoods. Many tenants have physical health, mental health or addiction issues and some need support service.

The 127 Society has been successfully housing and providing support services to this tenant group for over 20 years. Community Worker Program staff are also present in each building, to respond to the personal and social needs of its tenants. 127 has already established low-cost food stores, a workshop, a computer club, a community meals program and other social activities.


References

  1. The 127 Society for Housing - 1050 Expo Boulevard
  2. Walk Score
  3. Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future
  4. The Bloom Group


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