First look at Kettle Boffo tower on Commercial Drive

Kettle Boffo
Rendering of the proposed development by Boffo and the Kettle at the corner of Commercial Drive and Venables Street. Credit: The Kettle Boffo Project

Commercial Drive & Venables “Kettle Boffo” tower courts controversy

The Boffo Kettle project is being fought tooth and nail by organizers of the No Venables Tower coalition, who have collected over 3,500 signatures on a petition opposing the social housing and condo development.

Only on Commercial Drive could a proposed 12 storey building with new social housing and space for a cherished non-profit society generate so much controversy.

The “no tower” group says on their website that the development would “destroy the character of our neighbourhood.”

I don’t know if I would call 12 storeys a tower, it’s more of a mid rise. But let’s face it, “no tower” sounds sexier, and definitely more controversial.

Most of their concerns centre around the building’s height and fit with the neighbourhood. Ironically, there is already a 13 storey building across the street from the proposed Kettle Boffo project and it was built more than 30 years ago.

A formal proposal hasn’t been submitted to the City of Vancouver yet, but the developer, Boffo Properties, is calling for between 150-200 market residential units, plus 30 social housing units run by the Kettle Friendship Society for people with mental illness. There would also be expanded space for the society, including a drop-in centre and administrative space. Boffo Properties says they hope to submit a rezoning application at the “earliest available opportunity.”

Kettle Boffo
Rendering of the proposed development by Boffo and the Kettle at the corner of Commercial Drive and Venables Street. Credit: The Kettle Boffo Project
Kettle Boffo
Rendering of the proposed development by Boffo and the Kettle at the corner of Commercial Drive and Venables Street. Credit: The Kettle Boffo Project

The proposal has been in the works since 2012, and more information can be found here.