110 W 4th Ave rezoning and development permit application

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We would like your feedback on a concurrent rezoning and development permit at 110 W 4th Ave. The proposal is to allow for the development of a nine-storey office and laboratory building. The zoning would change from I-1 (Industrial) District to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District. This proposal includes:

  • A floor space ratio (FSR) of 7.0
  • A floor area of 20,563 sq. m (221,343 sq. ft.)
  • A building height of 45.97m (151 ft.)
  • 268 underground parking spaces and 88 bicycle spaces

The application is being considered under the Metro Core Jobs & Economy Land Use Plan and Policy on Consideration of Rezoning Applications during the Broadway Planning Process.

The rezoning and development permit application review process will take place concurrently.

In response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), an extended online question and answer (Q&A) period was held in place of an in-person open house for this project.




We would like your feedback on a concurrent rezoning and development permit at 110 W 4th Ave. The proposal is to allow for the development of a nine-storey office and laboratory building. The zoning would change from I-1 (Industrial) District to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District. This proposal includes:

  • A floor space ratio (FSR) of 7.0
  • A floor area of 20,563 sq. m (221,343 sq. ft.)
  • A building height of 45.97m (151 ft.)
  • 268 underground parking spaces and 88 bicycle spaces

The application is being considered under the Metro Core Jobs & Economy Land Use Plan and Policy on Consideration of Rezoning Applications during the Broadway Planning Process.

The rezoning and development permit application review process will take place concurrently.

In response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), an extended online question and answer (Q&A) period was held in place of an in-person open house for this project.




The virtual open house has concluded. Please use the “Send your comments” tab or contact the Planner directly for any further feedback. Thank you for participating.

Q&A is available from June 7 to June 27, 2021.

Q&A replaces in-person open houses, which are on hold due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

We post all questions as-is and aim to respond within two business days.

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    I think it’s great that this project will help invigorate our local economy, as well as add to our reputation as a tech and industry hub. I’m very encouraged to see that City Staff and Council have voted to see this site as an exception to the Broadway Area Plan; does that mean that this use is generally in-line with the recently completed Emerging Directions for the Broadway Plan?

    BM asked about 1 month ago

    Thanks for your question! The Broadway Plan is currently in development, targeting early 2022 to brought forward for Council’s consideration.  The uses of the project you referenced are generally aligned with the Emerging Directions for the area, and are in fact permitted through existing zoning today.  The reason Council considered an exception to the Broadway Plan Interim Rezoning Policy was that this project was seeking height and density above what is currently permitted in the area.  We are continuing to refine the appropriate heights and densities for the Mount Pleasant Industrial Area (MPIA) through consultation, as well as economic and built form testing to ensure an appropriate fit with the existing neighbourhood while supporting our industrial, innovation and tech sectors.

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    Hi COV, thanks for hosting an open house for this project. I live in the Mount Pleasant area and am pleased to see this type of investment and innovation coming to the community. I’ve read the other questions and responses posted here and it makes sense to be that this type of “use” should be classified industrial. I’m curious how many jobs this will bring to Vancouver? And if this project is expected to attract talent from elsewhere in Canada too? Seems like a great opportunity for our City (and for Canada’s bio-tech professionals!)

    A. Patrick asked about 1 month ago

    This response was provided by the applicant and potential future tenants of the proposed buildings, Abcellera: As a UBC spinout, AbCellera is very proud of its Vancouver roots and we are committed to building an anchor company in the City for the long term.  We have been doubling year over year in our number of employees since our founding. We have 300 employees currently and we have plans to build a 1,000+ person company.  We are planning to hire many hundreds more over the coming years in a range of disciplines including the life sciences, data science, software, engineering, business, financial and administrative staff, and all the related support workers.  We recognize there are many positive impacts these employment opportunities have in terms of strengthening our communities and supporting local businesses.  There is a global competition for people and companies.  Without a long term facilities plan in the City, AbCellera would not be able to accomplish this in Vancouver.  

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    Remind me again why AbCellera needed to be at this particular location when they could have chosen a site that would have accommodated their need to grow and to build a campus?

    Gladjazz asked about 1 month ago

    This response has been provided by the applicant and future tenants of the building, Abcellera -  AbCellera has chosen these prospective locations as the company is currently located at two sites in Mt. Pleasant and its expansion is premised on being in close proximity to these existing facilities. Integration of teams and technologies is essential to being an innovator and building a sustainable anchor company.

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    Why are only the Questions and Answers posted? Why aren't the comments and whether the responder is opposed or in support posted as well (anonymously)? I would like this process to be more transparent and I would like to know how many people have responded with comments, whether they are in favour or opposed and what the comments were. Will the City commit to doing so? Also, so far many of the ‘answers’ do not fully answer the questions or don’t answer them at all. This is frustrating and (clearly) then prompts followups. It also implies that the questions aren’t being considered seriously and that the City seems to think it is ok to just provide stock answers. I think the City needs to demonstrate that this is in fact a meaningful exercise and give detailed answers that provide some confidence that this rezoning is not just a done deal.

    JEG asked about 1 month ago

    Thanks for your question. Sorry to hear that you feel the process is not transparent. All questions and answers are posted to the Shape Your City page. Comments are collected through the rezoning process and reported to Council in a report when the proposal moved forward for Council consideration. In addition to the report summary, residents will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the project directly with Council at the Public Hearing, prior to a decision. 

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    A colleague just sent me the City of Vancouver’s report titled False Creek Flats Urban Design Policies and Guidelines for I-2 and I-3 and page 9 and 10 talks about what needs to happen for increasing the maximum achievable floor area including evaluation of: impact of height, bulk, massing, location and overall design of the building on the site, surrounding buildings and streets; provision of on -site open space, landscape and the effects of the overall design on the general amenity of the area; the effect on traffic in the area; impact on existing and future development; and fit within the street network, neighbourhood patterns and urban fabric. It also talks about stepped massing to reduce bulk and massing as height increases to improve access to daylight and views on adjacent sites. With regards to AbCellera’s two applications (110/150 W 4th, how much work has City staff done to assess all of these elements? I understand that the Flats Creek Flats is a different industrial area and that these guidelines are specific to that area, but the underlying principles are surely the same for the MP industrial area?

    ArtH asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for the question. Though not explicit to the area, when staff review a proposal urban design policies and guidelines for industrial sites are referenced and try to ensure a new building responds the the general intent of the guidelines. 

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    This application includes 268 underground parking spaces and the company's other application for the neighbouring site includes 218 parking spaces. What is the impact of hundreds of cars going to this one block going to have on the area, traffic congestion, and the City's vision for becoming a more sustainable municipality?

    Lianne asked about 2 months ago

    This response has been provided by the applicant and future tenants of the building, AbCellera - In addition to the parking spaces provided, the buildings have designed substantial bicycle and end of trip facilities to support multi-modal commuting. The sites were also selected in part due to their proximity to transit stations and City of Vancouver bike routes. The parking spaces are being provided in alignment with the City of Vancouver’s parking bylaw.

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    How does the applicant justify the need for so much non-industrial space? The tech sector is not a sector that is 9 to 5 office work and the pandemic has underscored the work force’s desire to work remotely. Colliers Q1 report shows that the demand for office space has significantly declined. If AbCellera wants to attract and retain talent, it will need to offer flexibility to its workforce – as such, why does it need so much non-industrial space?

    M1988 asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for the question. The proposal includes laboratory (70% of the building’s floor area) and office uses (30% of the building’s floor area). Both land uses are consistent with the Mount Pleasant Industrial Area and I-1 zone.

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    Is the City's plan to rezone the Mount Pleasant industrial area to CD-1? This application (along with the applicants other application for the neighbouring site) to turn this block into CD-1 would help, along with other sites in the area and elsewhere in Vancouver that the City has rezoned Industrial to CD-1. My company would love to get into the Mount Pleasant area once industrial zoning is no longer a hindrance.

    Lianne asked about 2 months ago

    CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) zoned properties are located throughout the City. CD-1 zones are ‘one of a kind’, that are created when rezoning sites include a mix of proposed land uses, building height and/or density that is not currently allowed under existing zoning. In the case of 110 and 150 W 4th Avenue, though the proposed laboratory and office uses are permitted within the I-1 district schedule in terms of land use, the proposed height and density is greater than what is permitted in the existing I-1 zone.

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    If the applicant needed more density (height, overall space, etc.), why did the applicant not build elsewhere rather than choosing an area where the zoning requirements (e.g., height of 60 feet) where so out of synch with their needs? (i.e., a 95 foot building and a 151 foot building)

    MT910 asked about 2 months ago

    This response has been provided by the applicant and future tenants of the building, Abcellera - AbCellera is currently located at two sites in Mt. Pleasant and its expansion is premised on being in close proximity to these existing facilities. Integration of teams and technologies is essential to being an innovator and building a sustainable anchor company.

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    Losing industrial space is a common problem for many cities in North America. The American Planning Association looked at one angle of this and found that, faced by escalating property values, city staff have often honed in on industrial districts in centrally located areas to support higher-yielding real estate development. And as they conclude: “Unfortunately, the strategy has eventually increased industrial displacement.” A Metro Van document (Industrial Land Intensification Analysis) also concluded that while allowing a higher proportion of accessory office and retail use would be one way to potentially create higher densities in industrial zones, “ some municipalities have found that, over time, office and retail rather than industrial use have become the primary activities in areas intended for industry.” I have read a lot on the change over time in industrial lands in Vancouver which has led to cries from the City itself to preserve its industrial lands. If preserving what little industrial land left that we have is so important, why would you not keep these sites (110 and 150 West 4th) as I-zoning designated sites in the heart of the MP industrial area?

    TRC asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for the question. The proposal includes laboratory (70% of the building’s floor area) and office uses (30% of the building’s floor area). Both land uses are consistent with the Mount Pleasant Industrial Area and I-1 zone.