MEC – Quebec and West 2nd Avenue

 

Here’s a project that we hadn’t envisaged: MEC will soon be moving from West Broadway to a new 3-storey building in Southeast False Creek. Designed by Proscenium Architecture, who also designed the new MEC headquarters, it has a 45,000 sq ft store with 15,000 sq ft of office space on a third floor.

The building, as with the headquarters design and other recent MEC projects, has a number of green building features, including construction with a mass timber frame. The model shows the approved Development permit version of the building. The massing is obviously the same, but the model didn’t give any idea of the building’s screen with a mountain view that makes an otherwise plain wall more interesting. The store is due to open early in 2020.

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601 Beach Avenue

This rezoning for a ‘gateway’ tower beside the Granville Street offramp has been anticipated for a while. It’s the counterpoint tower to Vancouver House, a tower currently under construction on the west side of the bridge.

The site was sold by the City of Vancouver for development to include a significant non-market housing component. The 54 storey tower would have 303 condo units and 152 social housing units.

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 custom shaped units.

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

The first version, seen in fall 2018 (right) has been revised to the design seen above. The tower and unit counts stay the same, but the podium along Beach Crescent is now only six storeys, and pulled back to reduce shadowing of an adjacent park.

It’s also not quite as close to Granville Bridge, and the cladding pattern has been revised slightly as well.

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234 West 3rd Avenue

 

This is yet another Mount Pleasant office and industrial project, but one with a quite different look to all the contemporary designs.

Formwerks, who also design ‘retro’ housing projects, are the architects and developers of this 55,000 square foot building, with a third of the space proposed as industrial use on the lower double-height floor, and three floors of office space above that.

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1465 West Broadway

This development application is for a modest office building at the corner of Granville and Broadway, replacing the 1957 office that’s there today. However, that’s only a (small) part of the story. In a while there will be a rezoning for a tower here, with residential space on the upper floors. (There’s a residential lobby shown on the plans). The corner is the location of a future Transit Station on the western extension of SkyTrain (initially to Arbutus), and the design includes the station entrance.

It also includes over 300 parking spaces in a 6-storey underground parkade, with an initially unused elevator shaft that will service the future tower. The SkyTrain plan has triggered a planning process for the Broadway corridor, but how big the future tower can be has yet to be determined, so for now the architects, MCM have designed the podium office and retail space to allow the station to be built.

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728-796 Main Street

 

After another delay, there is finally a revised rezoning proposal for this Union Street site. It’s one of very few where the Downtown Eastside Plan allowed the possibility of 150 feet tall buildings, on the corner between V6A and Ginger. However, the opportunity was only possible because the revisions to the Plan hadn’t been adopted. Those would see no further rezonings, after significant public concern expressed about the two taller buildings already completed, and one proposed on Keefer Street where City Council did not approve the rezoning.

This is a third design by Studio One Architecture, after the previous larger version nearly three years ago, (with the first scheme back in 2014). For a while the site was offered for sale, but it appears not to have sold as the same owners are behind the revised designs. The 18 SRO units currently on the site will be replaced with 19 units to be given to the City of Vancouver .

Currently there’s a tired hostel that was a Single Room Occupancy hotel, a former vegetarian restaurant and yoga studio, the Brickhouse club and the former site of the Jimi Hendrix shrine (There’s no actual direct connection between Jimi and the shrine’s location, which started life as a cab stand and was later a storage room for a now-demolished restaurant). The new scheme will reference this mythical connection. A 99 condo unit version (above, right) was not supported by the Urban Design Panel, and the site sat in limbo in the meantime. Now a shorter (114 foot tall) with 11 storeys and 75 condos (and still 19 non-market apartments) has been submitted, which seems more likely to get a green light for the design and massing.

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52 East Hastings Street

This dramatic 11-storey non-market housing project is planned for the corner of Columbia and East Hastings.

Designed by Urban Arts Architecture, it will have 111 units, 58 to be run by Lu’ma Family Housing, and 53 by RainCity Assisted Housing. There’s a Healing Centre and Food Centre planned for the main floor, as well as a Long House gathering space.

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Nickel – 275 West 5th Avenue

 

Until 2016, Hudson Plating had one of the heavier industrial operations in the Mount Pleasant industrial area. They sold that location, and some serious site remediation was required to allow this development. In 2017 PC Urban showed a render of the project they proposed to construct on the site (right). Designed by MCM, it’s just completing construction, with Relic Entertainment taking some of the office space.

It follows the area’s zoning formula for one third industrial and two thirds office space, with the offices on three floors. The project is called ‘Nickel’, presumably referencing the former plating works.

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