Last week, Vancouver-based real estate developer Peterson Group commenced construction on Frame, their latest project in Vancouver that's located at 2725-2751 Kingsway in the Norquay Village neighbourhood, next door to the Purdys Chocolatier Factory at the intersection of Kingsway and Earles Street, and across the street from Norquay Park.
Peterson Group submitted their rezoning application for the site -- an L-shaped site formerly occupied by an auto-repair shop, a two-storey furniture store, and a surface parking lot -- in June 2019, and the site was successfully rezoned from RS-1 (Residential) and C-2 (Commercial) to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) in June 2021.
Frame will consist of two 10-storey towers atop a shared four-to-five-storey L-shaped podium, with 217 strata condominium units (originally 219) and commercial retail units on the ground floor. The retail component will include 12 units, with sizes ranging from 567 sq. ft to 2,132 sq. ft, according to a commercial listing.
Three levels of underground parking will be provided and will include 259 vehicle spaces and 414 bicycle spaces (based on the originally-proposed 219 units).
Residential entrances will be located on both Kingsway and Earles Street. Along the latter, ground-floor residential units will be accessible from both the interior and the street, with all ground-floor units having a patio with direct access to Earles Street or Duke Street, on the rear side of the building, according to a City of Vancouver report.
The project was originally a joint venture between Peterson Group and Coromandel Properties, but the latter is no longer involved in any capacity, as STOREYS reported in April.
Coromandel Properties once held a 35% interest in the Frame project, but then sold a portion of their share to Peterson in order to raise funding that it needed for its other projects, prior to seeking creditor protection in February. Coromandel retained an option to buyback that portion, but the option was not exercised, and Peterson bought out Coromandel's share.
In a press release last week, Peterson did not mention Coromandel Properties by name, but said it now had "full control of the project."
Norquay Village and the Kingsway Corridor
Frame is located within the Norquay Village sub-neighbourhood of Renfrew-Collingwood, with the City of Vancouver approving its Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan over a decade ago in 2010.
"We feel we're in the fifth or sixth inning [of a nine-inning baseball game]," said Peterson's Director of Development Brendan Yee, when asked how far along we are in fulfilling the plan's vision. "We have started to see several more applications come through as of late, [including] mixed-use projects, each at various stages of development, along the Kingsway Corridor, and purpose-built rental and family-oriented housing forms to the north and west of Frame."
Norquay Village is centered around Kingsway, a main arterial road that begins at the New Westminster-Burnaby border all the way through Burnaby and well into Vancouver.
"The Kingsway Corridor offers some of Vancouver's best-kept secrets," Yee says. "Everyone you talk to has their own unique Kingsway memory, favourite restaurant, or coffee shop. The culture and community is vibrant, strong, and a true landmark in Vancouver."
Yee says that the Kingsway Corridor is in a league of its own, but offers a similar depth in culture to Vancouver's Fraser area, and offers a vibrancy like that of Mount Pleasant. In addition to Frame, Peterson Group also has two other projects in the works: a mixed-use rental project on Kingsway & Glen that began construction last year and a future project currently in the design phase.
Although not included in the plan area, Norquay Village greatly benefits from its proximity to the Expo Line SkyTrain's 29th Avenue Station and Nanaimo Station on Vanness Avenue -- about a 10-minute walk from Kingsway -- and that distance is a positive in more ways than one.
Aside from the convenient access to public transit, being close to the SkyTrain, but not too close to the SkyTrain provides the added benefit of less intensive density.
Within the Norquay Village community plan, mid-rise density has been designated for Kingsway, with low-rise housing one layer back, then stacked townhouses another layer back, and then infill housing beyond that. No area of Norquay has been designated for high-density development, and the City says that one of the reasons the nodes around the two SkyTrain stations were not included in the Norquay Village plan area was because they've been eyed for transit-oriented development.
Land-use designations for Norquay Village. (City of Vancouver)
Yee says this "thoughtful density" is definitely one of the appeals of Norquay Village.
"Some of the best cities in the world have adopted the mid-rise density form as it lends itself to a much more pedestrian-friendly option," he said. "The interesting thing about Frame's location is that it is only a 10-minute walk away from 29th Avenue Station. Many of our residents will receive the benefits of access to nearby rapid transit, but without the busier, higher-density development that it often comes with."
He adds that the lower-density forms in the area also provides better views of Downtown Vancouver, the North Shore mountains, as well as Burnaby, than would otherwise be available.
"Both Mount Pleasant and the Fraser neighbourhoods have transformed and grown with intention. We're thrilled to be seeing the same trajectory for the Kingsway Corridor and we see continued opportunity in the neighbourhood to complement what has already been built."
Construction on Frame is expected to be completed by late-2025.