50-Storey Station Park Tower Part of Kitchener’s Emerging Transit Hub

A transit-centric transformation is unfolding in Downtown Kitchener, with the master-planned Station ...

20220718 175041000 iOS - 50-Storey Station Park Tower Part of Kitchener's Emerging Transit Hub

A transit-centric transformation is unfolding in Downtown Kitchener, with the master-planned Station Park community at its centre. Located at Kitchener GO and VIA station, with its service the moving towards two-way, all-day frequencies over the coming years, plus the presence of the ION LRT’s Central station, the area is emerging as a significant transit hub. As Waterloo Region becomes increasingly connected to the Greater Toronto Area, VanMar Developments has strategically positioned its master-planned community towers at this transit confluence. The proposal for Station Park Building E is detailed in Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment applications, coming after the completed Union Towers and under-construction Duo Towers of Station Park.

Looking southwest to Station Park Building E, designed by Kirkor Architects Planners for VanMar Developments

Located at 615 King Street West, the ambitious project, designed by Kirkor Architects Planners, was initially proposed to stand 24 storeys. The development has undergone revisions, culminating in a 50-storey, 184.95m tall mixed-use proposal. This evolution showcases the developer’s efforts to maximize the potential of its prime real estate, with 535 residential units included in the latest iteration.

Looking towards the first two towers of Station Park, image retrieved from Google Street View

Building E is designed with a terraced podium dedicated to office and commercial spaces, its ground level aiming for a vibrant retail landscape along King Street, further augmented by a proposed grocery store. In the revised plans for Building E, significant alterations have been made from the original 2019 submission.

The podium for Building E, designed by Kirkor Architects Planners for VanMar Developments

Initially, the design introduced a fifth tower atop the office segment, earmarked for hotel usage. While the zoning still permits a hotel, the decision has pivoted towards residential utility for this fifth tower, primarily due to challenges encountered in procuring a hotel operator. This shift in purpose is complemented by architectural modifications to enhance the visual interplay and reduce direct line-of-sight between Towers E and D. Consequently, Building E’s stature was altered from the initially proposed 24 storeys to 44, and then most recently increased again to 50 storeys.

The previous plan, designed by Kirkor Architects Planners for VanMar Developments

Beyond Building E, the entire Station Park community has a broader master plan envisioned, with its towers also designed by Kirkor. It calls for a blend of residential, commercial, and public spaces spread across distinct blocks. It boasts a total gross floor area (GFA) of 137,488m², encompassing residential, commercial, and office spaces, of which 116,526m² would be residential. The development would include 2,144.86m² of amenity area for the 1,447 residential units proposed for the entire community.

The Station Park master plan, image from submission to City of Kitchener

The design incorporates three levels of underground parking, and an additional three levels of above-ground parking, seamlessly integrated within the building podiums. In total, the development would offer 1,440 parking spaces for residential and commercial use. Accessibility to these parking levels would be facilitated through three entry points. The development also proposes provisions for over 1,000 bicycle parking spaces.

The revised proposal expands an urban square enveloping the historic Kaufman House onsite. Conceived by the famed, late Toronto-based architect Eberhard Zeidler, this residence was built in 1959. The modifications, augmenting the setbacks from the Kaufman House, results in a reimagined urban square, with enhanced visibility along King Street, envisioned as a POPS (Privately-Owned Publicly-accessible Space). To invigorate it, retail outlets are planned around the square.

The central POPS, image from submission to City of Kitchener

Station Park’s proximity to both the Central ION Light-rail Transit (LRT) Station places it centrally in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge’s transit network. Furthermore, the site’s location next to the Region’s expanded Multi-Modal Transit Hub at Kitchener GO and VIAstation  station ensures residents and visitors have a multitude of transportation options at their disposal, from ION light rail transit to Grand River Transit, GO train and bus service, and VIA Rail.

An aerial view of the site and surrounding area, image retrieved from Google Maps

The completed Union Towers of Station Park already stand to the west at 18 and 28 storeys, while the community’s Duo Towers, set to stand 36 and 40 storeys, remain under construction. In the vicinity just south, the TEK Tower is also under construction and set to stand at 45 storeys, while the proposed 55-storey building at 417 King Street West further underscores the region’s upward development trajectory.

UrbanToronto will continue to follow progress on this development, but in the meantime, you can learn more about it from our Database file, linked below. If you’d like, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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UrbanToronto has a research service, UrbanToronto Pro, that provides comprehensive data on construction projects in the Greater Toronto Area—from proposal through to completion. We also offer Instant Reports, downloadable snapshots based on location, and a daily subscription newsletter, New Development Insider, that tracks projects from initial application.

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