The plan to radically redevelop one of downtown Vancouver's most well-known buildings has been revealed.
The 100-year-old Hudson's Bay building at 674 Granville St. will be redeveloped and updated, with the historic external facade remaining in place while an office tower is built on top. Inside, the retail space will be redone and infrastructure will be added.
“The way consumers live, work and shop is changing rapidly and HBC is committed to evolving to reflect these shifts, while unleashing the full value of our prime properties and reinvigorating the urban districts in which they are situated,” said Ian Putnam, President and CEO, HBC Properties and Investments, in a press release.
He goes on to say the "transformation of the iconic property" will adapt the building to new consumer and office worker needs.
The current retail space for the Bay is around 636,000 square feet; that's going to drop to 350,000 square feet. Above the current retail space 1 million square feet of office space will be added in the 12-storey tower addition.
"Despite serving Vancouverites for more than 100 years, retail shopping habits are changing, and the city is encouraging business use in developments downtown to address future demand," states the company on their website. "It is time to reconsider the best use of a building in such an important location—and we are proposing a multi-use approach."
Along with the work and retail space will be a rooftop garden and multi-level atriums. In tune with the sustainability angle, they also plan to have a bike parking lot.
Underground the connections to the Granville and Vancouver-City Centre SkyTrain stations will be redeveloped
The company is playing up the Hudson Bay Company's historic connection to the location.
"Since 1893, the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) has called the corner of Granville and Georgia its home. From its inception as a three-story red brick building to its subsequent expansions in 1899 and 1905, the evolution of the site has mirrored the progress of its city," notes the company on the project's website.
While there were discussions around the sale of the building in 2018, it ultimately fell through.
A public exhibition of the plan is open until Feb. 27 at the property. Public information meetings are planned on Feb. 23 from noon to 6 p.m. and Feb. 26 from noon to 3 p.m. A virtual event is planned for Feb. 24 from 7 to 8 p.m. These are being run by the company. City consultation with the public has not begun on the project which will require rezoning.
The company estimates construction will begin in 2024.