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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Western Canada’s tallest mass timber office building slated for Mt. Pleasant

Western Canada’s largest and tallest mass timber office building will be built in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.

Vancouver-based PC Urban Properties Corp. is partnering with global real estate investment firm Hines on the project, called T3 Mount Pleasant.

The upcoming office tower at 123 East 6th Avenue, between Main and Quebec streets, will be constructed adjacent to the former Vancouver School Board Teacher Centre, officially called the Simon Fraser Annex, built in 1929.

Heritage Vancouver had the building on its 2017 Watch List, citing it as having “architectural merit as an intact example of institutional Arts and Craft-style architecture, as expressed in a two-storey form with paired gabled dormers and its quintessential half-timbering detailing on stucco and wood frame.”

Simon Fraser Annex
Vancouver Heritage Commission has assessed the heritage value of Simon Fraser Annex, and, in 2016, recommended to Council that this historic place be added to the Vancouver Heritage Register as a Category “B” heritage resource. Credit: Heritage Vancouver

It will be retained and revitalized, and become an integral part of the new development.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Hines. This will be our fourth project in Mount Pleasant, and we’ve been actively involved in its transformation. Obviously, we are believers in the area,” says Brent Sawchyn, CEO of PC Urban.

“We were selected by the City to acquire and redevelop the property based on our previous work in the area and on our experience with heritage revitalization. The Annex will remain on site and be an integral component of the project. We also looked at the site as a perfect opportunity to bring mass timber office construction to Vancouver, and there is no one in North America with as much experience with this building form as Hines.”

The future 10-storey office building will be constructed with mass timber technology and measure 196,000 square feet. It will be aimed at companies in the high-tech and creative industries.

T3 North Loop - Exterior
Exterior of Hines’ T3 North Loop office building in Minneapolis. Credit: Ema Peter

Hines has developed several of these mass timber office buildings in the U.S., attracting tenants like Google and Amazon. They feature exposed wood throughout — paying tribute to historic brick and beam warehouses — while offering the benefits of a brand-new building.

Amenities will include social workspaces and tenant collaboration areas; an activated rooftop deck; potential for private outdoor balconies; shared conference space and high-tech AV systems; a spa-quality fitness centre, bike storage and end-of-trip facilities; and high-quality Wi-Fi throughout.

Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and be completed in 2024.

The office tower is just one of several mass timber projects to be announced in Vancouver in the past week. Westbank Corp. announced a 21-storey rental tower nearby called Prototype, and an affordable rental building is also planned at Main and Cordova in the Downtown Eastside.

Mass timber rental apartment tower
Rendering of mass timber rental apartment tower planned for Mount Pleasant in Vancouver. Credit: Henriquez Partners Architects

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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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