111 Princess Avenue


We noted that the excavation for this City of Vancouver/BC Housing non-market housing project started just under two years ago. Located on the corner of Princess and Alexander, it’s now just getting the finishing touches before residents start moving in.

Until a few years ago Marie Gomez Place was here, a smaller non-market housing project built in 1983 that suffered from poor building maintenance and management, leading to terminal structural issues that saw it finally torn down in 2007. It was named after a former owner whose name was spelled out in mosaic tile inside the door of the original 578 Alexander building. Marie was almost certainly a madam, but her timing wasn’t great. She obtained the permit to build her $9,000 establishment in 1913, but doesn’t appear in the street directory until 1915 just as the authorities closed almost all the brothels on Alexander Street. She doesn’t seem to be in the city a year later.

The new building has 139 suites on 10 floors, is designed by GBL Architects, and will be operated by PHS Community Services Society. It’s design shows it to be a cousin of another GBL designed non-market building, First Place, completed a couple of years ago.

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