Royal Centre at Burrard and Georgia corner to see major expansion (RENDERINGS)

Jul 5 2019, 1:32 am

A massive overhaul and expansion has been proposed for the base of the Royal Centre office tower in downtown Vancouver, where Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) regional corporate offices are located.

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The City of Vancouver has received a development application from Royal Centre Inc. that calls for significant alterations and a reconstruction of the existing bank building, located at 1025-1055 West Georgia Street — the highly-prominent northwest corner of the intersection of Burrard Street and West Georgia Street.

Apart from the conversion earlier in the decade of Cadillac Fairview’s former Sears building into a Nordstrom flagship store and offices, there is no other relevant comparison for the scope of the transformation planned for the existing context of Royal Centre, which would be renamed RBC Place.

Before and after from the perspective of the intersection of Burrard Street and West Georgia Street:

Royal Centre 1025-1055 West Georgia Street Vancouver

Site of Royal Centre at 1025-1055 West Georgia Street, Vancovuer. (Musson Cattell Mackey Parntership / PCI Development / Royal Centre Inc.)

Royal Centre 1025-1055 West Georgia Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the expanded and upgraded Royal Centre at 1025-1055 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership / PCI Development / Royal Centre Inc.)

Before and after from the perspective of the office tower base:

Royal Centre 1025-1055 West Georgia Street Vancouver

Site of Royal Centre at 1025-1055 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership / PCI Development / Royal Centre Inc.)

Royal Centre 1025-1055 West Georgia Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the expanded and upgraded Royal Centre at 1025-1055 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership / PCI Development / Royal Centre Inc.)

This proposal is in partnership with local developer PCI Developments and designed by architectural firm Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership.

The total floor area at the base of Royal Centre is currently 13,814 sq. ft. for the office tower and 43,195 sq. ft. for the corner pavilion — where the RBC is located — for a combined 57,009 sq. ft.

With the reconstruction of the existing bank building, additions to the office lobby, and a new five-storey commercial retail building, the total floor area of this base will grow to 120,348 sq. ft., including 24,125 sq. ft. in the lobby of the office tower and 96,223 sq. ft. for the new pavilion.

Royal Centre 1025-1055 West Georgia Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the expanded and upgraded Royal Centre at 1025-1055 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership / PCI Development / Royal Centre Inc.)

Royal Centre 1025-1055 West Georgia Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the expanded and upgraded Royal Centre at 1025-1055 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership / PCI Development / Royal Centre Inc.)

For the first phase that centres around the tower’s office lobby and surrounding existing plaza spaces, the changes entail the creation of 12,140 sq. ft. of restaurant space, 10,795 sq. ft. of space for the new office lobby and a cafe, and 1,190 sq. ft. for an additional entrance into SkyTrain’s Burrard Station.

It is not exactly clear at this time how a new SkyTrain entrance from West Georgia Street will be provided, but it appears to double as an entrance into Royal Centre’s underground shopping mall, which is noted in the application to receive interior alterations. This may be an improvement of the existing direct connection between Royal Centre and the Burrard Station concourse.

Artistic renderings also show TransLink-branded signage, designating this as an official entrance into the station. Over the last few years, TransLink has been pondering with concepts that expand the entrance capacity into the heavily-used Burrard Station.

Royal Centre 1025-1055 West Georgia Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the new West Georgia Street entrance into SkyTrain’s Burrard Station from the renovated Royal Centre. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership / PCI Development / Royal Centre Inc.)

A second phase of the development consists of the reconstructed and expanded pavilion building, including 94,054 sq. ft. of office space and 2,169 sq. ft. of space for the entry into the upper retail.

A major garden, with landscaping and seating areas, on the rooftop of the new pavilion serves as an amenity space for office workers.

Royal Centre 1025-1055 West Georgia Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the expanded and upgraded Royal Centre at 1025-1055 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership / PCI Development / Royal Centre Inc.)

Royal Centre 1025-1055 West Georgia Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the expanded and upgraded Royal Centre at 1025-1055 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership / PCI Development / Royal Centre Inc.)

Furthermore, the proposal also calls for significant public realm treatments; a new public plaza is envisioned between the pavilion and office tower, high-quality pavings are planned for all of the areas surrounding the pavilion and office tower, and the existing subterranean-level staircase on Burrard Street that leads into McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, and a mall entrance is set to be removed and replaced by the building expansion and a graded sidewalk.

All of the surrounding outdoor spaces are covered by a large glass canopy that extends over the plaza and sidewalk areas. This canopy covers nearly 10,000 sq. ft. of area, including 3,700 sq. ft. for the new restaurant.

Royal Centre 1025-1055 West Georgia Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the expanded and upgraded Royal Centre at 1025-1055 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership / PCI Development / Royal Centre Inc.)

When complete, Royal Centre will span a total floor area of 815,568 sq. ft., including 519,832 sq. ft. from the existing 37-storey office tower, 145,017 sq. ft. from the underground shopping mall, and 42,356 sq. ft. from the conference centre.

The complex was originally constructed in 1973, and its latest assessed value is pegged at $475 million.

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