1157 Burrard Street

Prima Properties have owned the former gas station site at the corner of Davie and Burrard for many years – in the meantime it’s been a community garden. In 2019 they submitted a rezoning for a 47-storey mixed-use tower, designed by Merrick Architecture.

At the time it was undecided exactly what the mix of uses will be – there were 236 market residential units, and then either 50 hotel rooms, or 50 more residential units. The tower also included the possibility of community-focused office space, and a 37 space childcare, although neither were guaranteed to be provided.

The scheme was approved and now the Development Permit has been submitted, showing 310 condo apartments, 119 of them 2 and 3 bedroom. The design is unchanged, but the uses are clarified, with community offices, some retail, and the childcare confirmed.

There will be small commercial units on the main floor along Davie street, and a plaza on the corner of Davie and Burrard.

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852 – 872 Seymour Street

It has been known for a while that a modest office building was going to be proposed for this Seymour Street site. Now the development application has been submitted for a 40,000 sq. ft. building with a retained heritage facade. There would be 3,500 sq. ft. of retail on the main floor, and 31,480 of useable office space above (with the remainder of space for circulation and services for the building).

The building is uncompromisingly contemporary, as would be expected from Arno Matis, the architect. It’s for the Bene Group of Richmond. The heritage building dates from 1926, when it was developed as the Great War Veterans’ Association Hall. The new building proposes 4 storeys of parking, with a car elevator for access.

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601 Beach Avenue

The rezoning for a ‘gateway’ tower beside the Granville Street offramp was approved in mid 2020. It’s the counterpoint tower to Vancouver House, a tower recently completed on the west side of the bridge. Now the development permit has been submitted, and as it was only slightly changed from the rezoning it shouldn’t have faced major problems. However, the detailed design has proved difficult to get approval from the Urban Design Panel, and now a revised version has been submitted with a septmber Development Panel date for approval.

The site here was sold by the City of Vancouver for development to include a significant non-market housing component. The 53 storey tower still has 303 condo units and 152 social housing units in the podium.

Designed by GBL Architects with JYOM Architecture, the tower uses rectangular window units that shift slightly to give the effect of a sinuous curve, without incurring the much higher costs associated with curved glazing.

The base of the building has three retail units, and a third of the non-market units, and over half the market condos will have two or three bedrooms.

The tower height and crown was pulled back to reduce shadowing of an adjacent park. Here’s the view pedestrians will see from the east side of Granville Bridge.


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MAC – 305 Main Street

Here’s a revised version of a project that was first proposed for the 300 block of Main Street at the end of 2021. (There was an application for the adjacent site in the fall of 2021 as well). This will replace the rooming house and cafe on the corner of Cordova, and the Imperial theatre to the south. Initially it was an 11 storey building with 70 social housing units and 47 market rentals, but now all 118 units will be social housing, with the intention that they will be owned by Atira once development is complete. It also has commercial retail, educational office and cultural theatre space, (replacing the Imperial), which will be given to the City of Vancouver.

The design has evolved slightly from the first version. It’s a mass timber construction designed by MA + HG Architects with Eskew Dumez Ripple, from New Orleans. It already has a September 2022 Development Permit Board meeting penciled in for a decision, assuming it doesn’t meet any unexpected roadblocks.

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314 – 328 West Hastings Street

Pacific Reach Properties own three buildings on a 100 foot frontage of West Hastings. SFU developed a building to the east a few years ago. Now Atelier Pacific Architectural have designed a market rental building to incorporate two of the facades on the block.

The rezoning is proposing 128 units in a 12 storey building. Currently there’s the unusual 1948 curved facade for Tip Top Tailors, which would be modified to add windows. There are two 1904 buildings alongside; the smaller one would be replaced, and the front of 328 West Hastings would be restored.

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1495 West 8th Avenue

The Vancouver Masonic Centre on West 8th Avenue was one of the city’s least attractive structures – a huge almost windowless concrete box. A 2016 rezoning proposed a dramatic transformation with a redevelopment to build 159 rental apartments (with a mix of non-market and market units) and a new Masonic Lodge, Banquet Hall and Children’s Learning Centre.

The tower’s design evolved somewhat from the application stage, and the project was designed by SHAPE Architecture, who recently moved their office into the building.

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1280 Burrard Street

The Burrard Place condo and office project received a rezoning in 2014, and the first tower is now complete. The developers said that the next phase would be the office, car dealer and retail building proposed for Burrard Street. The application was initially from IBI Group but the design is by Bing Thom Architects, and it’s a remarkable building with one of Bing’s favoured curved facades in a building over 180 feet high.

Now completing, the building will see a three storey car dealership (presumably for Pattison Toyota that was on the site before development started) with the service bays underground.  We said that if it looks like the render it would be one of the best locally-designed buildings seen in the city in years.

It looks like the render.

Details like the complicated layered curved glazed entry have taken a while to sort out on site, but they add a level of interest few office buildings try to achieve.

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19 East 5th Avenue

Some Mount Pleasant Industrial Area projects are quite large, but a few squeeze a new building onto a single 25 foot wide lot. Here’s a project that’s only 9,008 square feet of space in total, on four floors.

Designed by Hemsworth Architecture, a new practice currently located in an older building at this location, it’s intended to achieve Passive House energy performance for an industrial and office building.

Construction used factory made Cross-laminated timber panels, so was relatively fast. As built the new building delivers almost exactly what the render  promised.

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Burrard Place

We first posted this project eleven years ago. The project was rezoned in 2014, and after some design changes excavation started at the end of 2016, with construction proceeding slowly, and reaching grade at the middle of 2018. It’s taken four years to complete the first phase of Burrard Place (it was first called Burrard Gateway).

There’s a second residential tower tower to follow, office and retail in the podium.

The slow start was in part because the first version of the tower failed to show “architectural creativity and excellence, while making a significant contribution to the beauty and visual power of the city’s skyline”. A revised version got a more positive reception, and with a few further changes has now been completed.

The 54 storey tower has a grid design on one corner slightly reminiscent of the Vancouver House not too far away on Howe Street. There’s also a corner with alternating ‘zipper’ balconies,  design used by the same architects, IBI/HB, on a Southeast False Creek tower.

There are 426 condos and 53 rental units in the tower, as well as 100,000 sq. ft. of strata office and retail spaces in the podium along Hornby.

There’s another related office building designed by Bing Thom Architects on Burrard Street. It incorporates a 3-storey Pattison Toyota dealership into a curved and twisted office building that’s being completed at the same time.

We’ve compared the view looking up the completed tower (left) with the model from 2015 (right), and there are some subtle changes, although overall the design looks very similar. The bent spine may have a lighting effect, although one was promised for a similar feature on the Hotel Georgia tower by the same architects, but never materialized.

The second tower is being marketed, and a third residential tower on the block might be in the works as well, as Reliance Properties (building this tower with Pattison Developments) have secured the 7-11 building at the northern end of the Hornby Street block.

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1045 Burnaby Street

Now submitted as a rezoning, Gracorp, the investment arm of contractors Graham have partnered with Fiera Real Estate to buy a 38 unit condo building, the Landmark Bayside in the West End, with the intention of developing a 15 storey rental building with 20% of the units dedicated to moderate-income tenants.

There are 133 secured market rental units and 37 below market rental units in a building designed by GBL. The project proposes 52 car parking spaces, and 302 residential bike spaces.

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