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Bay Parkade redevelopment concepts revealed

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Two concepts surface for prominent downtown Vancouver site, and one could include a new tallest

Rumours in Vancouver’s development and architecture community are beginning to swirl about the redevelopment of the Bay Parkade site.

The prime piece of property consists of one city block, bound by West Georgia, Seymour, Dunsmuir and Richards, and includes the Bay Parkade and the Dunsmuir House.

The property owner, Holborn, last submitted a rezoning inquiry in 2006 for redevelopment of the site, but it appears the project is still alive and an announcement could be imminent.

Holborn website property listing
Photo from Holborn’s website of property.

One of likely several concepts for the site has surfaced, although it dates back to 2016. It’s impressive, and gives an idea of what could be achieved on the property. It also appears to include what could be a new tallest building for Vancouver, capped by an observation deck that leaves the Vancouver Lookout at Harbour Centre in the dust.

What’s not accounted for in the concept is the building heights on the site are currently capped by a view cone of approximately 300 ft., however, a generous package of public amenities or a change in city policy could lead to a breakthrough of Vancouver’s tabletop skyline.

The concept was designed by MAD Architects of Beijing, and includes three towers, the tallest consisting of a combination of residential and hotel use, as well as a department store and “retail village” which appears to be an indoor/outdoor shopping centre.

Renderings: Bay Parkade redevelopment concept

Overall massing
Overall massing of Bay Parkade redevelopment concept. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower massing
Conceptual tower massing, looking northwest from West Georgia and Hamilton. The Post Office redevelopment is not accounted for. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower form
Conceptual tower form, looking northwest from West Georgia and Hamilton. The Post Office redevelopment is not accounted for. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower form
Conceptual tower form. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower form
Conceptual tower form. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower form
Conceptual tower form. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower form
Conceptual tower form. Credit: MAD Architects
Commercial and retail spaces
Commercial and retail spaces. Credit: MAD Architects
Commercial and retail spaces
Commercial and retail spaces. Credit: MAD Architects
Overall development concept
Development concept looking southwest. Credit: MAD Architects
Overall development concept
Overall development concept. Credit: MAD Architects
Overall development concept
Development concept including a hotel, residential tower, department store and retail. Credit: MAD Architects
Observation deck
Observation deck. Credit: MAD Architects
LED display
LED display. Credit: MAD Architects
Roof garden
Roof garden with swimming pool. Credit: MAD Architects
Hotel drop off
Hotel drop off area. Credit: MAD Architects
Hotel lobby and drop off
Hotel lobby and drop off. Credit: MAD Architects
Looking west
Development as seen from West Georgia and Homer Street. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower concept with LED screen
Development concept as seen from Seymour Street, looking north. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower concept with LED screen
Development as seen from Richards and Dunsmuir Street, looking southwest. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower concept
Overall development. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower with LED screen
Tower view from West Georgia and Seymour. Credit: MAD Architects
Glass bottom pool
Pool. Credit: MAD Architects
Glass bottom pool
Pool concept above Seymour Street and West Georgia. Hudson’s Bay is on the left. Credit: MAD Architects
Inner courtyard
Inner courtyard. Credit: MAD Architects
Inner courtyard
Inner courtyard. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower lower levels
Commercial space on lower levels. Credit: MAD Architects
View skywards
Looking up at towers. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower rendering
Tower view. Credit: MAD Architects
Interior of Observation Deck
Interior of observation area at pinnacle of tower. Credit: MAD Architects
Observation deck view
Observation deck. Credit: MAD Architects
Observation deck rendering
Observation deck. Credit: MAD Architects
Upper levels of tower
Upper levels of the tower. Credit: MAD Architects
Upper levels of tower
Conceptual rendering of tower at night. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower rendering night
Conceptual rendering of tower at night. Credit: MAD Architects
Tower rendering night
Conceptual rendering of tower at night. Credit: MAD Architects

 

Video: MAD Architects concept for Bay Parkade

MAD Architects is reportedly no longer working on the project, but another architecture firm also appears to have developed a concept for the redevelopment: OMA of Rotterdam.

A design by OMA, co-founded by Rem Koolhaas, could take the design for the Bay Parkade redevelopment in a completely different direction.

The firm is well-known in the Pacific Northwest for its stunning design of the Seattle Public Library’s Central branch.

A conceptual rendering for OMA created by the Brooklyn Digital Foundry also shows a concept including several towers on the site, and a large porte-cochère on Seymour Street across from the Hudson’s Bay department store.

Rendering: OMA concept for Bay Parkade redevelopment

Bay Parkade Vancouver redevelopment concept
Rendering of redevelopment concept for the Bay Parkade in downtown Vancouver. Credit: OMA/Brooklyn Digital Foundry

Holborn’s 2006 rezoning inquiry proposed a primarily residential development, which would include renovating the existing Dunsmuir House and preservation of its 167 SRA units.

An FSR of 2.0 of commercial space was also proposed, however, city staff said at the time that an FSR of 2.0 on such an important site would be a disappointment — particularly as the site permits an FSR of 5.0, which equates to roughly 464,400 sq ft. of commercial space.

The city stated at the time it was important to note that “this is one of the few large sites on prestigious Georgia Street that are most suitable to major ‘Triple A’ office development.”

Since 2006, downtown Vancouver has experienced an office construction boom, with millions of new square feet of office space either under construction or already completed, much of it within two blocks of the Bay Parkade site. However, there still remains a severe shortage, with vacancy rates downtown at around 2.4 per cent.

Photos: Bay Parkade site today

Bay Parkade site 2020
Corner of West Georgia and Seymour Street, currently occupied by a small office building with ground floor retail.
Bay Parkade site 2020
Mid-block on West Georgia, showing laneway that will likely be eliminated in any redevelopment of the site.

City staff indicated it would be possible to accommodate up to an FSR of 10 on the Bay Parkade site, and encouraged Holborn to bring additional density to any redevelopment plans.

An FSR of 10 would allow for a major office tower, major hotel, and two residential towers, as well as the retention and renovation of Dunsmuir House, the city said at the time.

Hotel space is also at a premium in downtown Vancouver, with several hotel brands said to be looking for suitable locations, including Riu, W and the Four Seasons, which recently closed its only Vancouver property at CF Pacific Centre.

Perhaps 2020 will be the year when the redevelopment of this major city block in downtown Vancouver finally moves forward.

Peter Meiszner
Peter Meisznerhttps://www.peterforvancouver.com/
📢 I am running for Vancouver City Council with A Better City (ABC) and Ken Sim! Visit peterforvancouver.com for more information.
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