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Images: 12-storey residential building proposed for tops of downtown heritage buildings

The original buildings are over 110 years old

A couple of 110-year-old buildings in Vancouver's core could be getting a lot taller.

The two buildings, at 430 and 440 W Pender St., are part of a development proposal that would see a 12-storey residential rental building built on top with 80 units. In an application to the city, the proponents say they're looking for support from BC Housing with the goal of creating secure rental housing and meeting affordability benchmarks.

In total they want to create 60 studio apartments and 20 two bedrooms units a short distance from Victory Square; all would be rentals. There'll also be an artist studio and a community amenity on the top floor with a rooftop deck.

The plan is to build around the facades of the two-story building at 430 W Pender St. and the three-storey Tiedemann Block building at 440 W Pender St.

Both buildings are from the city's early days; the Tiedemann Block was built in 1909-10 and is classified as a heritage 'b' building by the city. The other building was finished in 1913; it's potentially a class 'c' heritage building but hasn't been classified. The proponents say they'll preserve its street-facing wall as well.

"The development proposal is to retain the façade which has the most heritage value of the building and integrate it into the proposed development," states the proponents. "Due to the age and construction of the existing brick building structure, it will be extremely difficult and impractical to retain the remainder of the building."

Currently, the sites on either side of this proposal are construction zones as two similar buildings are being under construction.

The application is currently with the city to review rezoning the properties.

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