Construction has begun on the new location of MEC, or Mountain Equipment Co-op, at the gateway to the Olympic Village.
The new flagship store at East 2nd Avenue and Quebec Street is scheduled to open in mid-2019, and will replace the current store on West Broadway, owned by Reliance Properties and subject of an upcoming redevelopment proposal.
A staggering 450,000 people in the Lower Mainland are members of MEC, with a total of over 1 million members across the province. MEC also has locations in North Vancouver, Victoria, Langley and Kelowna.
The new building at East 2nd and Quebec will be constructed to a LEED Gold standard, and was designed by Proscenium Architecture + Interiors.
It will measure 60,000 sq ft., with two levels of retail space, a third floor with office and amenity space, three levels of underground parking and more than 50 bicycle parking stalls.
The design will be similar to the retailer’s Kelowna location, which features extensive use of wood and a “store within a store” approach for categories like cycling and camping.
The development is a joint project between MEC and Beedie Development, who has owned the property since 2007.
“It’s hard to imagine a more perfect fit than MEC for our gateway site to Olympic Village,” said Ryan Beedie, president of Beedie. “We are thrilled to partner with such an iconic and respected local company, and we appreciate the active involvement of the City of Vancouver in helping us all make this project a reality.”
MEC will occupy the new store on a leasehold basis for at least 20 years.
“It’s exciting to break ground on MEC’s new flagship store in Olympic Village, which will give a boost to one of Vancouver’s core green and active neighbourhoods,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “MEC has long been a cornerstone of Vancouver’s green economy, creating jobs for people who live and work in Vancouver, and contributing to our efforts as we strive to become the greenest city in the world by 2020.”
“MEC’s flagship store will enhance Vancouver’s urban active community by connecting residents to the outdoors, and I’m looking forward its opening.”