Chinatown – 633 Main Street


Here’s the first project completed in the very small area of Chinatown where buildings can be rezoned to 150 feet in height. There’s another project by Westbank next door that’s not quite complete yet. We first saw this scheme in May 2012, and below is the model that was at the rezoning hearing three years ago for 192 units over retail, designed by Chris Dikeakos for Blue Sky Properties. It now has an East Georgia street address, as that’s where the residential entrance is located, and a name – ‘Chinatown’.

633 MainThere were a few design changes, including simplified brick colour variation, but overall the building as built is very close to the original intent. The combined effect of these buildings, a site yet to develop across the street, and the viaducts land to the south will bring a significant population into a stretch of Main Street and the edge of Chinatown that currently has very few residents and some pretty dismal retail spaces.

Surprisingly for a strata building the developers have chosen to make it a rental building. Tenants have already started moving in and there’s a bank relocating to one of the retail units.

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3 Responses to Chinatown – 633 Main Street

  1. I’d agree with the description of the “dismal” retail spaces at present, but what exactly are the “…Chinatown guidelines on design” that they are following in the building? It seems a lost opportunity with this unremarkable architectural design considering not only its location on Main Street but its position within Chinatown. The design essentially looks akin to the BOSA Citygate buildings, yes, but this location presents itself that it could be a blend of the kind of design seen there and something more elemental to Chinatown. There’s no tenants across the street at Murrin Substation to upset with anything facing on the North Wall. C’mon Chris Dikeakos – let’s be a little more daring next time.
    Look for that stretch of East Georgia, and the final remnants of the old Georgia Viaduct that once connected there to open with a new street connecting Main to Quebec — especially when the city decides to take the present viaducts down.

  2. Ron says:

    3 projects, actually. The Solterra project is on the NW corner of Keefer & Main, across from the Westbank project.

    • ChangingCity says:

      True – we’ve featured it here too. The difference is that the Solterra project is built to zoning, and so quite a bit smaller (although still 10 storeys), while the two on the 600 block are rezonings to 16 and 17 storeys.

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