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Main and Cordova: colourful 11-storeys proposed

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For the second time in two weeks, there’s news about a new development on Main Street between East Hastings and East Cordova.

At the end of October, we shared news of an eight-storey Indigenous Healing Lodge and social housing building proposed for 327 Main Street.

View looking southwest on Main Street
Location of future Indigenous Healing Lodge and social housing building, view looking southwest on Main Street. Credit: GBL Architects

Directly next door, at the corner of Main and Cordova, there’s another new proposal, this one for an 11-storey, mixed-use building, consisting of:

  • 117 residential units
    • 70 social housing units
    • 47 market rental units
  • commercial retail space
  • office space
  • cultural amenity space
  • one level of underground parking

Renderings: Main and Cordova social housing and rental

Future development at Main and Cordova, rendering looking west.
Main Street rendering, looking northwest. Credit: MA+HG Architects/Eskew+Dumez+Ripple
Main and Cordova development, rendering of Main Street frontage in evening.
Main Street frontage evening rendering. Credit: MA+HG Architects/Eskew+Dumez+Ripple
Main and Cordova street festival rendering
Main and Cordova street festival rendering. Credit: MA+HG Architects/Eskew+Dumez+Ripple
Rendering looking south of future development at Main and Cordova.
Rendering looking south. Credit: MA+HG Architects/Eskew+Dumez+Ripple
Cordova Street frontage rendering
Cordova Street frontage rendering. Credit: MA+HG Architects/Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

The architects of the upcoming building are Vancouver-based MA+HG Architects and Eskew+Dumez+Ripple of New Orleans.

The development will be built with mass timber construction, with a steel hybrid structure. Earlier this year, it was announced that the project would receive $475,000 as part of a mass timber building demonstration project announced by the B.C. government.

Axonometric view, northeast
Axonometric view, northeast. Credit: MA+HG Architects/Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

As the redevelopment will demolish the performance venue, The Imperial (formerly known as the Golden Harvest theatre), the new building will include a cultural space “to support marginalized voices and storytelling.”

The recently built Golden Harvest theatre in 1976
The recently built Golden Harvest theatre in 1976 with the 1922 single storey structure to the right. Credit: City of Vancouver Archives

However, The Imperial had a 750-seat capacity, while the new cultural space will be much smaller – measuring between 1,200-1,500 square feet. The project team indicates they had been in discussions with the owners of The Imperial to incorporate a new venue into the redevelopment, but those talks were stymied by the pandemic.

Main and Cordova as Waves Coffee in 2019/2020
Main and Cordova as Waves Coffee in 2019/2020. Credit: MA+HG Architects/Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

The redevelopment will also see the demolition of a C-listed heritage building on the corner of Main and Cordova, most recently home to a Waves Coffee. Although the building is on the Vancouver Heritage Register, having been built in 1892, a report from heritage experts at Donald Luxton and Associates Inc. found that the original heritage integrity of the building has largely been lost, due to a fire in 1972 that resulted in the removal of the top floor of the building, as well as alterations over the years.

301 Main Street after the fire of 1972
301 Main Street after the fire of 1972, next door is the two storey 1903 building. Credit: John Atkin
Showing the truncated building with the top floor removed after the fire and repairs in 1976 CVA photo CVA790-1918
Showing the truncated building with the top floor removed after the fire and repairs in 1976. Credit: City of Vancouver Archives

The site falls within the Downtown-Eastside/Oppenheimer Official Development Plan area.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meisznerhttps://www.peterforvancouver.com/
I am planning to run for Vancouver City Council in 2022. Please visit peterforvancouver.com to stay informed on my campaign.
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