Construction has begun on an office building development on the southeast corner of West Broadway and Oak Street, formerly the site of a strip mall.
BlueSky Properties is constructing a 10-storey, 90,000-square-foot mid-rise building at 988 West Broadway, with retail space on the ground floor and office space on the upper eight floors. All of the office spaces have already been leased, largely in part due to Industrial Alliance’s decision to move its regional offices into 80 per cent of the office space.
Tenants will have access to amenities on the rooftop level, such as a fitness room, meeting room, and large outdoor deck with views of the downtown skyline and North Shore mountains.
Plans for the building originally called for the inclusion of a station entrance for the Broadway Subway, the future underground extension of SkyTrain’s Millennium Line to Arbutus or as far as UBC. However, according to BlueSky Properties CEO Dale Bosa, those plans have been canceled.
“It’s our understanding that the station has moved and won’t be here on the site, so we don’t know the exact location… we did have some communication with the City of Vancouver that the station will not be on the site now,” Bosa told Vancity Buzz.
He adds that although a large entrance is no longer needed, the building will still provide space for an emergency access into the underground station structure. Some plans for the building are being reworked, mainly with a reconfiguration of the building’s permanent retail space and expansion of the office lobby. Under the originals plans, temporary retail space would have occupied the corner space designated for the station entrance.
Vancity Buzz reached out to the City of Vancouver for comment on the precise station location. The following statement was received from a spokesperson: “The City, in partnership with TransLink, has been working with development projects along the Broadway corridor to secure provisional access to future stations. The primary entrance for the future station near Oak Street is still to be confirmed at a future stage of the project’s design.”
The stations for the future SkyTrain extension will parallel the bus stop locations of the 99 B-Line. A station is needed within the vicinity of Oak Street to serve Central Broadway’s growing office hub and the Oak-Cambie healthcare precinct, anchored by Vancouver General Hospital and the B.C. Cancer Agency. The health authority employs approximately 8,000 people in the area while the cancer agency employs another 3,000 people.
A station entrance at the building would be ideal for not only the healthcare precinct but also to provide transit users with a quick and convenient transfer to the bus routes serving Oak Street. It remains unclear why the entrance location was changed. Over the last two quarters of 2015, at least two dozen soil drill tests were completed along the Broadway Subway route – from the False Creek Flats to Arbutus Street.
Construction on 988 West Broadway is slated for a 2018 completion. Future station entrances are also incorporated into three other developments along the Broadway Corridor.