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15-storey condo building proposed to replace The Brickhouse in Chinatown

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Kenneth Chan Jul 17, 2017 2:48 am 2,056

On the heels of Vancouver City Council’s recent controversial rejection of the 105 Keefer Street project, one of Vancouver’s most iconic dive bars could be replaced with a new mixed-use development reaching 15 storeys in height.

A formal rezoning application has been submitted by Studio One Architecture on behalf of Bonnis Development Corporation to redevelop the northeast corner of Main Street and Union Street in Chinatown.

The plans include a new 150 ft tall building with both commercial and residential uses.

The 12,800 sq. ft. site encompasses three lots, including The Brickhouse building and the former location of the Jimmy Hendrix Shrine.

Most of the area of the proposed site currently sits vacant.

Artistic rendering of the proposed development at 728-796 Main Street in Chinatown. (Studio One Architecture)

Artistic rendering of the proposed development at 728-796 Main Street in Chinatown. (Studio One Architecture)

There will be over 7,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space on the ground and mezzanine levels.

A social housing component is included in this project, with 19 units of social housing situated within the mezzanine and second levels to replace the existing single-room accommodation units on the site.

Within levels three to 15, the proponents are proposing 99 market residential units.

Four levels of underground parking will support the residents and businesses.

Artistic rendering of the proposed development at 728-796 Main Street in Chinatown. (Studio One Architecture)

The project falls under the 2010-approved Historic Area Height Review and the 2012-approved Chinatown Neighbourhood Plan & Economic Revitalization Strategy, which strives to increase Chinatown’s residential population in order to revive and support local businesses.

This area of Main Street in Chinatown permits building heights of up to 15 storeys.

What will happen to The Brickhouse?

In an interview with Daily Hive earlier this year, Kerris Bonnis who is a partner in Bonnis Development Corporation said the project team is in discussions with the owner of The Brickhouse on how they can ideally return and reopen within the new development.

At the time, she said that they intend to recycle the bricks of the current The Brickhouse structure, which was built in the early 1900s, by incorporating their use into the new building.

The redevelopment application recently submitted to the municipal government provides a rendering of what the new home of The Brickhouse, made from reclaimed bricks, could look like.

Left – existing facade of The Brickhouse; Right – Proposed exterior of the new The Brickhouse within the new building incorporating the old bricks. (Studio One Architecture)

Artistic rendering of the ground floor and retail and restaurant facades of the proposed development at 728-796 Main Street in Chinatown. (Studio One Architecture)

“We are all about participating in building communities – not breaking them down,” Kerry Bonnis, who is a partner in Bonnis Development Corporation alongside her brother Dino, told Daily Hive.

“We both grew up in Vancouver – and have strong roots in Vancouver – including coming to Chinatown as children and throughout our lives. We are aware of the importance of the Chinatown community – and intend to propose a development that is responsive to its needs.”

The redevelopment of The Brickhouse site is just one of several proposed projects that are coming to light in the area.

The City-owned block currently occupied by the viaducts on the southwest corner of the intersection is slated for a mixed-use redevelopment project.

The developers behind the rejected 105 Keefer Street project indicated last week they will submit a downsized project.

Further south of Chinatown along Main Street, another dive bar, The Narrow Lounge, at the corner of Main Street and 2nd Avenue could be replaced with a rental residential building.

Exterior of the existing The Brickhouse in Vancouver’s Chinatown. (Google Maps Streetview)

See also

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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