Strathcona Village in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside district is the area’s largest redevelopment project since the 2009 completion of Woodwards, and it is also one of the first major condominium projects in the region to incorporate industrial strata space.
The redevelopment, located at 947 East Hastings Street, covering almost the entire city block, is developed by Wall Financial and designed by GBL Architects.
It has a site-wide podium with three separate tower massings that stretch the building’s height to up to 15 storeys.
There are 350 homes, including 280 market residential units and 70 social housing units, which officially opened today as the Belcourt Residence.
The social housing mix is comprised of 24 studio units rented at shelter rates, 15 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom units rented at Housing Income Limits rates of between $950 to $1,215, and 21 units rented at the low end of market rents.
“Lookout is excited to open Belcourt Residence, which will provide brand new homes for people who are struggling to find affordable housing in Vancouver,” said Shayne Williams, Executive Director of Vancouver Lookout Housing and Health Society, the non-profit housing agency that was selected by the City of Vancouver to operate the social housing units.
“The Belcourt is named after a former Lookout staff member who tragically died in a traffic accident on her way to work in 2016. The building offers housing at all affordability levels along the continuum of housing for people living in our community.”
Extensive outdoor amenity spaces are located on the rooftop areas of the podium.
The project’s rezoning was approved by the City in 2014 to allow the mix of residential uses and light industry, defined as production, distribution, and repair activities. It can be utilized as creative space for artists, small industrial start-up businesses that provide local products, and repair centres for household goods, clothing, and footwear.
Over 60,000 sq. ft. of space within the lower floors, with ceilings up to 22 ft high, are dedicated for such light industrial uses.
As for the design, the building’s unique container-inspired exterior is an obvious nod to its close proximity to the Port of Vancouver and the area’s traditional industrial uses.
Mixed-use developments that put residential and industry under one roof are most common in city centre areas where space comes at a premium, but such projects are also being considered for the suburbs. One of the largest proposals to date is the 2.3-million sq. ft. ‘Innovation District’ redevelopment in North Vancouver that includes 86,157 sq. ft. of ‘innovation industrial’ space, amongst many other uses.