CommercialNew model of Westbank's Central Steam Plant redevelopment

New model of Westbank’s Central Steam Plant redevelopment

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A proposal to remake the Creative Energy steam plant into a mixed-use office and retail development is gathering steam.

At the Unzipped exhibit in Toronto, a new model of Westbank’s plans for the Central Steam Plant at Beatty and West Georgia is on display.

Westbank Steam Plant Creative Energy development
A new model of Westbank’s upcoming Central Steam Plant redevelopment has surfaced at the Unzipped exhibition in Toronto. Credit: Westbank/Twitter

The plan calls for seismic upgrades to the existing Central Steam Plant, and the addition of approximately 18 storeys of office space, with ground floor retail surrounding the plant. The plant is owned by Creative Energy, a subsidiary of Westbank.

Westbank Central Steam Plant
A rendering of an upcoming proposal for the Central Steam Plant next to BC Place. Credit: Jane Chu/Bjarke Ingels
Creative Energy steam plant use
The new building will be made up of primarily office use, with retail on the ground floor, and a small retail building on Expo Blvd. Credit: Creative Energy

Second plant at BC Place

A new plant would be built at the base of BC Place along Expo Blvd., in the area where the fans that inflated the original BC Place domed roof were stored.

The new plant would be capable of supplying steam to half of Creative Energy’s customer base on the coldest day of the year.

New BC Place steam plant
Location of new steam plant adjacent to BC Place. Credit: Creative Energy
Creative Energy steam plant BC Place
Location of new steam plant adjacent to BC Place on Expo Blvd. Credit: Creative Energy

Vancouver House architect involved

The architect for the project is Bjarke Ingels — also the architect behind Westbank’s Vancouver House tower next to the Granville Street bridge.

The Central Steam Plant opened in 1968 and was purchased in 2014 by Westbank for $32 million.

A 2015 city report said the existing steam plant could be re-engineered and integrated into the development as a back-up function, or relocated off-site.

The report also indicated 300,000-350,000 sq ft. of office/commercial and a 300,000-400,000 sq ft. of secured market rental housing was possible on the site.

No formal application has been filed with the city at this time. Creative Energy will also require approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC).

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
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