Laneway living: New apartments in West End now available for rent

Laneway rental apartments in Vancouver's West End, located at the rear of 1546 Nelson Street.

One of the first laneway rental apartment projects in Vancouver’s West End is now complete.

The three-storey, four-unit rental apartment building was constructed behind an existing home at 1546 Nelson Street.

It was designed by Ankenman Marchand Architects, who are also designing a similar infill project behind a nearby apartment building at Comox and Cardero.

The building’s address is officially on Henshaw Lane, one of the newly-christened West End laneways. The city is encouraging new infill rental apartment buildings along the West End’s laneways, with the aim of accommodating up to 1,000 new rental units.

Henshaw Lane rental apartments

Laneway rental apartments in Vancouver’s West End, located at the rear of 1546 Nelson Street.
Laneway rental apartments in Vancouver’s West End, located at the rear of 1546 Nelson Street.
Alongside the infill rental apartment building.
The units have their own addresses, on Henshaw Lane, as the laneway was recently named by the City of Vancouver.
Laneway rental apartments in Vancouver’s West End, located at the rear of 1546 Nelson Street.
Existing home on Nelson Street with infill rental apartment building at rear.

According to a Craigslist ad, the two bedroom, two bathroom units are renting for $2,400 per month. Parking is on the street, and in the laneway.

Craiglist ad showing two bedroom, two bath units listed for rent in the new laneway apartment building.
Rendering of the laneway rental apartment building. Credit: Ankenman Marchand Architects
A similar infill project proposed for Comox and Cardero, also designed by Ankenman Marchand Architects.

The city named the laneway between Nelson and Comox Streets, and between Bidwell and Nicola Streets, as Henshaw Lane in 2014. However, there is still no street sign indicating the lane’s name. The city expects to have signage installed some time this year, much to the relief of pizza delivery drivers.

City permitting delays for laneway apartments

Despite the city’s desire to create more affordable rental housing in the West End, David Taylor, vice-president of Colliers International in Vancouver, said securing permits for the laneway apartment building took longer than the time needed to construct the building.

Eight West End laneways named

This past fall, the city announced it was naming eight more laneways after local historical figures. The newly-named laneways are as follows:

Eihu Lane
Existing lane located between Alberni Street and Robson Street which runs from Burrard Street to west of Bute Street, and from Jervis Street to Chilco Street

Rosemary Brown Lane
Existing lane located between Robson Street and Haro Street which runs from Burrard Street to Lagoon Drive

Stovold Lane
Existing lane located between Haro Street and Barclay Street which runs from Smithe Street to west of Cardero Street, and from Denman Street to Lagoon Drive

Ted Northe Lane
Existing lane located between Barclay Street and Nelson Street which runs from Burrard Street to Stanley Park

Jepson-Young Lane
Existing lane located between Comox Street and Pendrell Street which runs from Thurlow Street to Cardero Street, and from Bidwell Street to Stanley Park

See-em-ia Lane
Existing lane located between Pendrell Street and Davie Street which runs from Burrard Street to Denman Street

Pantages Lane
Existing lane located between Davie Street and Burnaby Street which runs from Burrard Street to Denman Street

Jung Lane
Existing lane located between Harwood Street and Beach Avenue/Pacific Street which runs from Burrard Street to Cardero Street