1500 Main Street


main-2ndThis is undoubtedly the fastest completion of housing we’ve recorded here. We first posted in October last year, when this project was first announced. It is already completed and tenants will be moving in very soon.

1500-main-render-2The 40 unit non-market housing scheme is a temporary use of a city-owned site at Main and Terminal. The pre-fab modular housing can be moved to another location when development of the longer-term use of the site has been determined under the False Creek Flats Plan. The architects are Blue Green Architecture, (based in Kamloops and Kelowna) and this seems quite a departure from the portfolio of work on their website. The project was built by Horizon North, a Calgary based company who have built resource camp housing, and the developer is the City’s Housing Agency.

The building can be relocated and reconfigured to fit a number of different sites. Even the foundation system is adaptable and reusable. 40 single occupancy suites have self-contained bathrooms and kitchens, individual climate control, and private living space. The building features include indoor and outdoor amenity space, a central laundry, and a number of wheelchair accessible suites on the first floor. All of these homes will be available to individuals on income assistance or fixed incomes. The site will be operated by a non-profit society. Initially the City were funding the $3.5m project, but now the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will provide $1.5 million through its new innovation fund, Vancity are providing a grant of $100,000, while the estate of Jimmy Chow has donated over $1 million.

The mural on the side of the building is by Wuikinuxv and Klahoose Nations artist Bracken Hanuse Corlett.

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Midtown – 589 East Broadway

midtown-e-broadwayThis project, designed by W T Leung Architects, was originally going to be developed by another company. Portliving took the project on in 2012, and it was completed a short while ago. It has 41 condos on three floors over a retail base in a part of East Broadway, near Fraser Street, where little change has occurred in many years.

Now a number of new schemes are coming forward and this part of Mount Pleasant should see new retail tenants as well as more residents.

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Wohlsein – 311 East 6th Avenue



This project was a bit of a mystery when it appeared as a proposal in 2014. It’s had an address in Mount Pleasant, a bit of a description: “To develop new mixed use building with artist studios and residential units” and a date for the Development Permit Board in September.

311 E6thIt went to the Urban Design Panel in July, and we learned that the architects are IBI Group. As it’s proposed under zoning it can proceed without going to a public hearing. There was a hitch with the unanimous non-support of the UDP members to the first version (on the right). The revised lighter version (below) was given a green light a few weeks later. The ‘as built’ is very close; the top floor is still light, but has a cream finish.

311 E 6th v2It’s called The Wohlsein’ – an odd choice unless you know that it’s a toast to good health, and that there’s a picture of the employees of Doering and Marstrand Brewery that was in this location in Mount Pleasant in 1890 with ‘Wohlsein’ as the caption.


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1445 West Georgia Street

1445-w-georgia-render-2This tower has been in the works for some time, and James Cheng has just submitted the rezoning application for a 46 storey, 514 foot tall tower.

If approved as submitted it would have 128 condos on a tight flatiron site in the Downtown Triangle West area.

The tower design shows it tapering, and all the apartments would be large – the smallest has two bedrooms, and the largest have five.

There are two modest commercial buildings from the 1960s on site today, including the IBM Building designed by Thompson, Berwick & Pratt which is on the post 40’s Heritage Register.

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Trump International Hotel & Tower

trump-blogWe featured a number of previously mothballed projects that were put on hold after the slow-down in 2008 that were resurrected, and this is the most prominent and anticipated project in the city, the Arthur Erickson assisted design opposite Shangri-La tower at 1151 West Georgia. It’s a 63 storey tower that was a large hole in the ground for several years. In 2012 the hole got even deeper as work resumed with a new contractor on this seemingly cursed site. (A previous commercial project on the same site sat half-built for many years before it was finally abandoned).

Trump tower render 2013A combination of DYS and MCM Architects were responsible for the final design, and there are condos above a Trump hotel (that was to be a Ritz Carlton when first seen as a design in 2004). Erickson was brought in to suggest how to avoid the viewcone that limited the site, and he proposed the gentle twist that angles the building at the critical point.

Trump already had a tower in Toronto, and had indicated an interest in Vancouver for some time. This is easily the biggest project the developer, Holborn, had attempted, although the parent company, T A Global of Malaysia have apparently helped with the $360 million cost. Completion was due in the second half of 2016, and is finally nearing completion now.

Above is the 2013 render from the developer’s website. The glass colour was variously suggested as green or blue, but ended up blue-grey. The render also shows the two storey convention portion of the hotel on the roof of the podium of the adjacent office building.

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Five Ten Seymour Street

510-seymour-blogThis project started out as something of a mystery in June 2013 – an office building for a site on the corner of West Pender and Seymour Street. There were two older 2-storey buildings, one a sushi restaurant and the other (dating from 1905) vacant for several years.

The mystery was that as far as we knew there wasn’t either a rezoning or development application submitted, although the building was being marketed. The design 538 W Penderby Musson Cattell Mackey initially was for a 9-storey building with 77,000 sq ft of space (below).

The development application was for a 10 storey building, and the design evolved into something that looks really much more interesting. There are angled glazed sections in the facade which add an extra level of variation on what is really a very efficient block floorplate.

The Urban Design panel were happy with it in April 2014, and it was approved by the Development Permit Board in June. Quickly under construction, the good news for the developers was that it was almost completely leased, although the bad news for them is that one of their tenants, shoes.com just announced they are closing their business before they even managed to move in.

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275 West 5th Avenue

275-w5-renderUntil recently, Hudson Plating had one of the heavier industrial operations in the Mount Pleasant industrial area. Now they’ve sold that location, and some serious site remediation is taking place. PC Urban are showing a render of the project they propose to construct on the site. It’s now been submitted as a development permit, designed by MCM.

It will follow the area’s zoning formula for one third industrial and two thirds office space, with the offices on three floors.

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