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Located east of downtown Vancouver, the False Creek Flats and Mount Pleasant neighbourhood is full of potential. With a SkyTrain extension planned and several mixed-use development proposals submitted to the City, including 319 East 2nd Avenue and 338 East 2nd Avenue, the area is poised to become Vancouver’s next sought-after community.

And it’s not just condominiums that are being proposed. At 304 East 1st Avenue, Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership has applied to the City of Vancouver for permission to develop the site into a purpose-built rental development by Cape Group.

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“The project is located within Vancouver’s evolving False Creek Flats neighborhood in the Creative Campus Subarea and reflects ongoing renewal of this unique urban industrial commercial district,” reads the design rationale. “This application proposes a residential mixed use development at site that will play an important role in False Creek Flats evolving story, particularly for those seeking low cost rental housing, in a rapidly growing, well connected part of Vancouver.”

If approved, The Sophia will house a total of 112 rental units in a variety of sizes including micro suites, studios and one-bedroom layouts. Most units feature balconies, while the micro suites will have Juliet balconies. Plans also call for 4,500 square feet of commercial space, a 56-space daycare with a south-facing outdoor play area, and private resident amenities. These include an indoor amenity room, outdoor barbecue and dining area, green roof, children’s play area with a ‘Cozy Dome’ activity centre, and garden plots.

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The project is situated 200 metres from the future SkyTrain station at Thornton Avenue and less than 10 minutes’ walk from the Main Street Science World station. A bike share program is also planned for residents.

The building’s proposed architectural expression and use of materials like glass and steel recognize the area’s industrial past while maintaining a contemporary profile. Prefabricated mass timber construction will be used for the residential portion of the building starting at level three. The use of timber helps lower the building’s carbon footprint, reduces construction time and provides superior energy performance.

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