150 W 4th Ave rezoning and development application

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We would like your feedback on a concurrent rezoning and development permit application at 150 W 4th Ave. The proposal is to allow for the development of a seven-storey office 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 3.97
  • A floor area of 15,672 sq. m (168,690 sq. ft.)
  • A building height of 28.8 m (95 ft.)
  • 218 underground parking spaces and 94 bicycle parking spaces.

Please note the proposed height included on the postcard notification sent to surrounding property owners and stakeholders was incorrect. The proposed height of the building is 28.8 m (95 ft.).

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.

The site is currently under construction with an issued development permit under the existing I-1 (Industrial) District Schedule. The development permit which was approved in 2020 allows for a five-storey, industrial and office building. The approved floor space ratio is 3.0 with a total floor area of 11,855 sq. m (127,602 sq. ft.). The concurrent rezoning and development permit application under review seeks to increase the floor area as noted above.

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.


Referred to Public Hearing

On October 19, 2021 City Council referred this application to a Public Hearing.

Give feedback to City Council:

Send your comments online

or via mail to:

City of Vancouver, City Clerk’s Office

453 West 12th Avenue, Third Floor

Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4

Or request to speak, starting approximately one week before the meeting.

Your comments and name will be published in the meeting record.


We would like your feedback on a concurrent rezoning and development permit application at 150 W 4th Ave. The proposal is to allow for the development of a seven-storey office 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 3.97
  • A floor area of 15,672 sq. m (168,690 sq. ft.)
  • A building height of 28.8 m (95 ft.)
  • 218 underground parking spaces and 94 bicycle parking spaces.

Please note the proposed height included on the postcard notification sent to surrounding property owners and stakeholders was incorrect. The proposed height of the building is 28.8 m (95 ft.).

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.

The site is currently under construction with an issued development permit under the existing I-1 (Industrial) District Schedule. The development permit which was approved in 2020 allows for a five-storey, industrial and office building. The approved floor space ratio is 3.0 with a total floor area of 11,855 sq. m (127,602 sq. ft.). The concurrent rezoning and development permit application under review seeks to increase the floor area as noted above.

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.


Referred to Public Hearing

On October 19, 2021 City Council referred this application to a Public Hearing.

Give feedback to City Council:

Send your comments online

or via mail to:

City of Vancouver, City Clerk’s Office

453 West 12th Avenue, Third Floor

Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4

Or request to speak, starting approximately one week before the meeting.

Your comments and name will be published in the meeting record.

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 am a small business owner in the area and I am worried about reduced car traffic because of the Broadway Line construction. I am hoping that this development will bring more foot traffic to the area. How many people will be working in this building?

    PK asked 4 months 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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    Thanks to City Staff and Council for understanding that exciting projects like these deserve to be an exception to the Broadway Plan Area development schedule. I have a question about the site. I understand it falls under industrial use, which I agree with. How many (bio)tech and industrial knowledge employees does AbCellera aim to hire moving forward? Do they hope to remain in Vancouver long term? Thank you!

    BM asked 4 months 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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    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 4 months 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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    Thanks for your answer about why there isn't a plan for the Mount Pleasant Industrial Area (MPIA). But really all it does is confirm that there is no plan for MPIA and the City is proceeding to make major decisions that will completely alter this area in the absence of undertaking a true planning exercise that meaningfully considers the existing business owners, tenants and residents. The fact that MPIA is included in the Broadway Plan study are is not the same as having a plan for the neighbourhood. Will the City commit to halting this re-zoning application and rejecting the increases in density and height that are WAY outside of the existing zoning parameters and go through a planning exercise for MPIA that meaningfully involves its existing population and ensures that, in keeping with the CoV’s Culture Shift strategy that states that the City needs to “champion creators and elevate arts and culture” and “prevent displacement and support affordable, accessible and secure spaces”, ensures that space for smaller businesses and arts and culture spaces are not displaced by big ‘campus projects’???

    EBS asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for the follow up question. This project, including the proposed height and density, is currently being reviewed by staff and is subject to a public hearing before being approved and proceeding. We are currently collecting public feedback and will include a summary of what was heard in a report to Council. The public is also invited to share their thoughts directly with Council at the Public Hearing. Notification of the Public Hearing will be sent to the neighbourhood and included in newspapers once the project proceeds for Council considerations. You will be able to share your thoughts directly with Council at that time, prior to a decision.

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    Rather than cave to the demands of the applicant for sites 110 West 6th/150 West 4th and what seems to be the wrong move for the MP industrial area, could city planners take a page out of how they handled Railtown? Apparently, in Railtown, although it took years of discussion between planners and business owners, the city’s changes to the zoning definitions for the Railtown neighbourhood have generally made things better. The restrictions on height and the restrictions on discouraging one business occupy all of the space in a building have created spaces for a lot of smaller businesses and have kept the area feeling intimate. It feels like it was a success story. Could we learn from that and preserve some of Mount Pleasant industrial in that way and keep the big tech companies on the edges of that area as you have already zoned for it?

    Desi asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for the question. This project, including the proposed height and density, is currently being reviewed by staff and is subject to a public hearing before being approved and proceeding. The proposed laboratory and office uses are consistent with the I-1 (Industrial) zone as well as the intent of the Mount Pleasant Industrial Area. We are currently collecting public feedback and will include a summary of what was heard in a report to Council. The public is also invited to share their thoughts directly with Council at the Public Hearing. Notification of the Public Hearing will be sent to the neighbourhood and included in newspapers once the project proceeds for Council considerations. You will be able to share your thoughts directly with Council at that time, prior to a decision.  The following portion of the 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.  The following portion of the 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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    (from a CoV plan): “For several decades, Mount Pleasant has provided affordable production, distribution, and repair space.” Recent Planning department decisions may be eroding that. Have you done any impact studies on how recent decisions and current on-the-table decisions such as the AbCellera applications have had/will potentially have on that “affordable production, distribution and repair space”?

    IanT asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your comment. We understand and share your concern about affordable industrial space and work to ensure industrial space in the city is preserved through the Metro Core Jobs and Economy Plan. The proposed laboratory and office uses are permitted uses in the I-1 (Industrial) zone and meet the intent of the Mount Pleasant Industrial Area.  

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    When did the applicant know that the sites that they purchased at 110 West 4th and 150 West 4th and the attached industrial zoning requirements was not going to suit their needs and be enough space for them and that they were going to need to get the site rezoned to CD-1?

    Bob5 asked 4 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 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. The following portion of the 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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    I am concerned that the AbCellera applications for 110 and 150 West 4th are going to kickstart a slippery slope of negative outcomes on the large number of artists, creators, designers and media arts folk who work in the area. What is the plan for making sure that approving the AbCellera projects doesn’t have unintended consequences for the area? One might argue that the Mount Pleasant industrial lands are actually better suited as a central area for small business and the creative economy rather than making room for growing businesses that need a lot of land for campus-type operations. From a planning perspective, were the False Creek flats or other areas in the city not better suited for the biotech campus? The CoV’s Culture Shift strategy says the City needs to “champion creators and elevate arts and culture” and “prevent displacement and support affordable, accessible and secure spaces.” Once the City starts allowing for businesses like AbCellera to both skirt/pay to get around zoning bylaws and impose a massive (150 feet for one building, really?!) development right in the centre of the Mount Pleasant industrial area, it is unlikely that any of the small businesses, artists, artisans and designers are going to be able to survive the fallout on real estate in the area and future requests by developers/bigger businesses to push the envelope. Why is the creative sector always being pushed out (so many examples of this happening in this City) – dogged by high rents and property taxes and dwindling land) and needing to move out of the city to find more affordable and stable locales. I’m pretty sure it isn’t the intention of the Culture Shift Strategy to increase the exodus of creative types.

    P97 asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for the follow up question. This project, including the proposed height and density, is currently being reviewed by staff and is subject to a public hearing before being approved and proceeding. We are currently collecting public feedback and will include a summary of what was heard in a report to Council. The public is also invited to share their thoughts directly with Council at the Public Hearing. Notification of the Public Hearing will be sent to the neighbourhood and included in newspapers once the project proceeds for Council considerations. You will be able to share your thoughts directly with Council at that time, prior to a decision. Additionally, the Broadway Planning process is ongoing. The Mount Pleasant Industrial Area (MPIA) is included in the Broadway Planning study area. The Plan is anticipated to provide direction on future development along the Broadway corridor, including the MPIA. This portion of the 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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    My questions are for the Planning Department. Have you actually pretty much already told the applicant that they are approved for CD-1 and the height and density that they have requested? [The height of their crane indicates their optimism.] If yes, why are you seeking input via “Shape Your City” if the project is already underway and the applicant is already working towards what it is outlined in their application?

    Brewmaster asked 4 months ago

    The two rezoning applications currently being considered in the MPIA under the Policy on Consideration of Rezoning Applications during the Broadway Planning Process. As per the policy, on March 10, 2021 Council instructed staff to consider rezoning applications for both 110 and 150 W 4th Avenue. Staff are currently facilitating the rezoning process and gathering public input and feedback on the proposals. Taking into account what was heard from the public though the process and existing policy direction, staff will make a recommendation to Council for decision. When the proposal proceeds to Council for consideration the neighbourhood will be notified of the Public Hearing date and will be able to share their thoughts on the proposal directly with Council at the Hearing. 

    The project at 150 W 4th Avenue is currently under construction with an issued development permit under the existing I-1 zone. The development is permitted to build up to 5-storeys and FSR of 3.0. Height and density greater than this is subject to approval of the rezoning application from Council.  

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    AbCellera says it needs a lot of space and it expects to grow and it wants to develop a campus. It doesn't feel like Mount Pleasant is the place to do this. From a best practices planning angle, should the city not consider an area in, for example, south Vancouver that will provide the applicant with a space to grow further to have an actual campus? It reminds me of when Hootesuite started out in one area of Vancouver and then they grew so fast and big that they then took over several buildings in the MP industrial area which apparently pushed the price of rents up in MP area to a point that was no longer affordable to smaller industrial/creative businesses; and, then sadly, Hootesuite laid off 10% of its workforce a year and a half ago. Maybe AbCellera should go somewhere in the city where their presence will have a positive impact on the area?

    Stu asked 4 months ago

    This response has been provided by the applicant and future tenants of the building, Abcellera – Abcellera has chosen the Mount Pleasant location as the company is currently located at two sites in Mount Pleasant and the company’s 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.

Page last updated: 19 October 2021, 11:55