The Southeast False Creek Reclamation Feasibility Study is now underway to explore the concept of turning 4-acres of the inlet into prime waterfront real estate for residential development, museum and public spaces.
Update: Happy April Fools’ Day!
The water site that could potentially be filled in is located between Science World and the Olympic Village seawall. Up to four buildings are slated for the future development site, including 15 and 20-storey residential buildings, a 25-storey office building, and a 5-storey expansion building for Science World.
The plans for the museum building expansion are merely conceptual but it could include a potential amalgamation between the non-profit organizations that run Science World and the H.R. Macmillan Space Centre, which is currently located at Vanier Park.
Under the proposal, the space museum would vacate its Kitsilano premises and occupy much of the 120,000 square foot expansion building at Science World. The new ‘space exhibit’ at Science World will feature new and improved permanent space exploration exhibits as well as a new planetarium theatre.
The partnership and relocation has been years in the making and is a sound move for both organizations, especially for the space museum which has been experiencing dwindling numbers at its cramped facilities and its relatively inaccessible location.
The residential component of the project will become affordable rental housing units with restaurants and retail spaces at its base.
The cost of the entire project is not known as it is still in the preliminary stages. The feasibility study will determine whether reclamation or building a platform on drilled pilings will be the preferred method of creating the additional waterfront development space. Large portions of Canada Place and the West Building of the Vancouver Convention Centre are built on pilings over water.
This adds on to False Creek’s long history of being filled in to make way for development. During World War I, the vast eastern half from Main Street to Clark Drive was reclaimed to construct railyards for the war effort. Over subsequent decades, the remaining inlet narrowed even further to make way for more industrial activity including railyards and sawmills.
Map of Vancouver, 1898, showing reach of False Creek. Click on map for expanded version.