Vancouver’s freemasons will be building a new replacement Masonic Centre at their current Fairview location while incorporating an 18-storey residential tower.
A rezoning application submitted by the Vancouver Masonic Centre to redevelop their site at 1495 West 8th Avenue received approval last year, and construction is now set to begin. The property is framed by an adjacent building, a laneway, West 7th Avenue, and West 8th Avenue.
The new Masonic Centre will include a new four-storey building with extensive space for banquet and ceremonial events, including a ballroom for up to 300 people and large covered outdoor patio on the fourth floor with panoramic views of the downtown skyline and North Shore mountains.
Leasable spaces will also be located on the ground floor, such as a restaurant space facing West 7th Avenue, and there will be flexibility space to host events such as art launches, movie openings, and fashion shows.
Additionally, the organization is working with BC Housing to build an 18-storey residential tower on the property, which will be attached to the new Masonic Centre. The tower, reaching a height of 174 ft, will have 159 secured rental residential units, with a mix of non-market and market units.
The new Masonic Centre’s lobby entrance, currently on West 8th Avenue, will be located on West 7th Avenue while the rental housing lobby will be up the hill on West 8th Avenue.
With 144,000 sq. ft. of floor area, the redevelopment has an overall floor space ratio (FSR) density of 5.96 FSR.
The current Masonic Centre building was built in 1973 and is perhaps best known as a longtime location for Royal Conservatory of Music examinations. It joins a growing number of organizations that are taking advantage of their real estate to revitalize their facilities, with new housing funding the projects.
The Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver at the corner of West 41st Avenue and Oak Street is proposing a major redevelopment of its site with a new community centre, recreational facilities, rental housing, and a seniors’ home. However, a redevelopment of the Italian Cultural Centre of Vancouver, located near Renfrew Station, with a new community centre, retail, and housing is no longer being considered by its members.