We first featured 2290 Main Street at the end of January 2013, and showed the picture (below) of the model of the building in the fall of that year. Council approved the rezoning, it received a Development Permit and sales started as ‘Focal’. After over a year of sales the project was rebranded as ‘Paragon’ and a new sales centre was promised. That never materialized, and now the building has a new name – Ellsworth, and a new developer, Chard Developments, now preselling the project. The new render shows their version to be reasonably faithful to the original design, with the same massing, height and number of suites.
The area was previously mostly small scale industrial and auto-related use. However, the Mount Pleasant Plan allows the possibility of rezoning, and this is a location that the plan contemplated buildings close to those already around it – like the 10-storey District that’s behind it.
The rezoning was originally designed by Arno Matis Architecture for a nine storey building with the top three storeys quite a bit smaller than the six storey base. Like his Cambie Street project, the new proposal was a striking contemporary design that would contrast with the much more cautious Busby Associates design of the 10-storey No. 1 Kingsway (which includes the Mount Pleasant library and Community Centre) to the south. The project has commercial space at grade, artists production space and some artists live-work studios. The building is set back a little from Main Street with landscaping and seating in front.
This model is the one that went to the Urban Design Panel in 2013 who gave it enthusiastic support. The model shows the materials proposed were wood panel and glass – and as it’s rezoned, the new building design by MCMP will still have to perform at a LEED Gold level.