24-storey office tower proposed for West Broadway next to future SkyTrain station

Jul 2 2021, 6:58 pm

There are major transit-oriented employment density ambitions for the northeast corner of the intersection of West Broadway and Hemlock Street.

Yuanheng Holdings is proposing to redevelop 1395 West Broadway — the temporary location of the Jim Pattison Toyota Downtown dealership, previously Mercedes-Benz Vancouver — into a 315-ft-tall, 24-storey office tower.

It would be the tallest building building on the Central Broadway Corridor — exceeding the 297-ft-tall Jim Pattison Pavilion of Vancouver General Hospital, and the 2019-approved, 283-ft-tall rental housing tower a block to the east at 2538 Birch Street. View cones do not have an impact on the site.

This location is just one block east — a three-minute walking distance — from the entrance into SkyTrain’s future South Granville Station, currently under construction.

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

Three-minute walking distance between the entrance location of SkyTrain’s future South Granville Station and the office tower site at 1395 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

Office tower site at 1395 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

“In recognition of its unique location, on a steeply sloping site, at the high point of the Central Broadway corridor, next to the upcoming transit station, and a large corner lot without the interruption of a lane, the proposal attempts to create a significant building with landmark quality. The design of the building is the result of a sensitive response to the landform, the context at the level of the street as well as the context of the city skyline,” reads the newly submitted rezoning application by Andrew Cheung Architects.

“The design attempts to create a memorable landmark tower for the Fairview slope highpoint particularly viewed from the downtown area and driving along Granviille Bridge.”

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the office tower at 1395 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Andrew Cheung Architects/Yuanheng Holdings)

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the office tower at 1395 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Andrew Cheung Architects/Yuanheng Holdings)

The developer acquired the property in 2012 for $30 million for its commercial development potential — no residential uses are planned.

There will be 300,000 sq ft of floor area, including 273,442 sq ft of office space in the upper levels and nearly 24,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space over the first two levels.

A large common amenity lounge for office tenants is provided on the third floor, which opens to a significant north-facing outdoor amenity terrace on the rooftop of the retail podium.

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the office tower at 1395 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Andrew Cheung Architects/Yuanheng Holdings)

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the office tower at 1395 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Andrew Cheung Architects/Yuanheng Holdings)

The overall architectural concept carries a sculpted, crystal-like form, with the top of the tower crowned with a sloping angular form inspired by a mountain peak. Curtain wall screens with a height of 15 ft rise from the rooftop garden at 300 ft.

LED strip lights follow the angular outlines of the building and is proposed as one of the public art components of the project.

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the office tower at 1395 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Andrew Cheung Architects/Yuanheng Holdings)

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the office tower at 1395 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Andrew Cheung Architects/Yuanheng Holdings)

The form of the tower is generally slender when viewed from Broadway, with a maximum width of only 74.5 ft. The office floor plates within the top section of the building are under 10,500 sq ft.

A large plaza at the prominent intersection’s corner, with a public art installation as its centrepiece, will provide an inviting entrance into the office lobby. As another public realm measure, the sidewalks on West Broadway and Hemlock Street will be widened.

Five underground levels will provide 392 vehicle parking stalls and 158 secure bike parking spaces. The building’s floor area ratio density is a floor area that is 8.65 times larger than the size of the 34,300 sq ft lot. Proponents are targeting a LEED Gold green building certification.

Despite the current economic conditions and temporary work-from-home arrangements for many office-based workplaces, Vancouver continues to see strong demand for new office space. As of the second quarter of 2021, the office vacancy in downtown Vancouver is 6.6%, making it the tightest office market amongst major North American city centres.

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the office tower at 1395 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Andrew Cheung Architects/Yuanheng Holdings)

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the office tower at 1395 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Andrew Cheung Architects/Yuanheng Holdings)

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the office tower at 1395 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Andrew Cheung Architects/Yuanheng Holdings)

The municipal government has indicated this proposal is being considered under the recently approved Metro Core Jobs and Economy Land Use Plan, and exempt from the temporary ban on most types of rezonings during the planning process for the Broadway Plan, which is expected to reach completion in late 2021 or early 2022.

Yuanheng is also proposing to build a new replacement location for South Granville Seniors Centre at 1316 West Broadway, located across the street from the office tower site.

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the office tower at 1395 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Andrew Cheung Architects/Yuanheng Holdings)

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the office tower at 1395 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Andrew Cheung Architects/Yuanheng Holdings)

1395 west broadway vancouver office tower

The office tower site at 1395 West Broadway is now affected by view cones. (City of Vancouver)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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