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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Spectacular Flat Iron tower proposed for downtown Vancouver

A spectacular proposal for a 46-storey glass condo tower on a triangular lot in the Coal Harbour neighbourhood of downtown Vancouver has emerged.

Brilliant Circle Group Investments Ltd (BCG) and James KM Cheng Architects are proposing the “family-oriented” tower – read: large, luxury units – on West Georgia Street, where Pender and Georgia merge at Nicola Street.

The tower concept is to create a “slender, tapered form” at the western gateway to downtown Vancouver. The residential floors are elevated over a dramatic glass-framed lobby with the amenity floors suspended above. Amenities will include a private dining area, lounge, children’s play area and fitness centre.

The building will be clad in a combination of silver and dark-tinted glass, as well as custom-coloured metal cladding and stone. There will be a “porte-cochère” arrival and drop-off area on Pender Street, and seven levels of underground parking and car wash station.

Flat Iron Tower Vancouver lobby water feature
Rendering of open lobby with cascading water feature.
Flat Iron Tower Vancouver lobby
Rendering of lobby with suspended tower above, looking east on West Georgia and Pender streets.
Flat Iron Tower Vancouver glass lobby
Rendering of entrance to building lobby, showing water feature.
Flat Iron Tower Vancouver rendering
Rendering of tower looking east from West Georgia Street.
Flat Iron Tower Vancouver rendering looking west
Rendering of tower looking west from West Georgia Street and Broughton Street.
Flat Iron Tower Vancouver rendering day
Rendering of the tower, looking north from Crown Life Plaza water fountain at 1500 West Georgia Street.
Flat Iron Tower office building current
The site is currently occupied by an eight storey office building and a smaller two storey structure, currently serving as an art gallery.
Flat Iron Tower Vancouver birds eye
Site of planned Flat Iron tower by Brilliant Circle Group at landmark site in Coal Harbour.
Flat Iron Tower Vancouver drawings
Drawing of the upcoming Flat Iron tower on West Georgia, showing variety of exterior materials used and its relation to neighbouring buildings.

The unit breakdown is as follows:

  • 128 units
    • 2 bedroom: 76
    • 3 bedroom: 41
    • 4 bedroom: 9
    • 5 bedroom: 2

In the rezoning documents, the developer proposes a new piece of public art in Flag Plaza, the triangular public green space west of the site.

Flat Iron Tower Vancouver site plan
Site plan for Flat Iron tower on West Georgia Street, showing water feature and porte-cochère.

Neighbouring project Cardero by Bosa Properties, achieved the highest price per square foot in Vancouver history when it was presold in the summer of 2016, despite the introduction of the foreign-buyer tax. Foreign-buyer tax is not due until the unit is complete, usually two to three years from the time of purchase.

Bosa Properties is also proposing a Jenga-style residential tower at 1500 West Georgia Street, adjacent to the Crown Life Plaza fountain, a fixture on West Georgia Street for more than 40 years. 

The Globe and Mail reported in 2016 that many developers have seen the proportion of foreign buyers increase since the introduction of the tax, with many buyers betting on a rise in value by completion date, as well as their immigration status changing to permanent residency or citizenship.

The developer of this site, Brilliant Circle Group Investments Ltd (BCG), is relatively new to the Vancouver property scene, but is already flexing its deep pockets. The company recently acquired 230 acres of Imperial Oil land in Port Moody and Anmore, and plans to develop a mixed-use village.

The Vancouver Sun reports Brilliant Circle Group Investments Ltd (BCG) is owned by David Cai, a Canadian citizen, who has a home in Vancouver as well as roots in Hong Kong.

The Vancouver Sun also reports that David Xiao Ming Cai is also the name of the CEO and an executive director of Brilliant Circle Holdings International Ltd. The Hong Kong-based public company is registered in the Cayman Islands and is involved in cigarette package printing, printing services and manufacturing laminated paper.

Feedback on the Flat Iron proposal can be left on the City of Vancouver’s website here.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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