Georgia Street's White Spot is being turned into condo towers

Jul 19 2017, 4:15 am

White Spot Restaurant’s sprawling site on West Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver’s West End district could be redeveloped into a new residential project, cementing the area as a hotspot for some of the city’s largest tower developments in recent years.

During a pre-application open house last week, restaurant owner Shato Holdings revealed initial concepts designed by architectural firm IBI Group for two towers, 39 storeys and 33 storeys respectively, on the restaurant site at 1616 West Georgia Street.

Preliminary concept of the towers for the White Spot Restaurant redevelopment. (IBI Group / Shato Holdings)

Initial proposal and architectural design details provided by the proponents to Daily Hive show that the tower heights will reach 384 ft and 327 ft, with a two-storey podium in between the towers consisting of townhouses.

Artistic rendering of the proposed development from the intersection of West Georgia Street and Cardero Street. (IBI Group / Shato Holdings)

There will be 350 residential units, including 274 units suitable for families with two or more bedrooms, and 389 units of car parking within five underground levels.

No commercial space is planned for the project; it remains to be seen whether White Spot will open a new location nearby as it did following the closure of its other West Georgia Street location for the construction of TELUS Garden.

A formal rezoning application to the municipal government has yet to be submitted.

Shato Holdings is owned by BC’s Toigo family, which is also known for their ownership of the Vancouver Giants.

Preliminary concept of the towers for the White Spot Restaurant redevelopment. (IBI Group / Shato Holdings)

Prime real estate

The redevelopment of the site is inevitable given that it is significantly under-utilized for its location in Canada’s most expensive neighbourhood.

The proposed project will occupy two-thirds of the city block framed by West Georgia Street to the north, Cardero Street to the east, Alberni Street to the south, and the now-closed Chevron gas station to the west.

The site is currently occupied by a standalone single-storey White Spot building, ground-level parking, and large billboards.

The existing parking lots and White Spot building at 1616 West Georgia Street. (IBI Group / Shato Holdings)

Yellow highlights the proposed development site, which includes White Spot. Another tower will also replace the Chevron gas station on the opposite end of the city block. (IBI Group / Shato Holdings)

According to the latest property assessments by BC Assessment, the four properties that encompass Shato Holdings’ development site have an assessed value of over $87 million.

But the real market value of the site is certainly much more, which is most evident with this year’s $72-million sale of the one-third block site that Chevron occupied. The gas station will also be redeveloped into a residential tower.

Artistic rendering of the proposed development showing a view of the towers from the intersection of West Pender Street and Nicola Street. (IBI Group / Shato Holdings)

Hotspot for new towers

Four other towers are already planned or approved for the area around the Coal Harbour/West End intersection of West Georgia Street and Cardero Street.

These include:

The nearby Westin Bayshore Hotel could also be partially redeveloped with additional residential and hotel towers on its site after it was acquired by Concord Pacific for nearly $300 million in 2015.

Map showing all the proposed or approved developments in the area. The blue towers highlight the White Spot redevelopment. (IBI Group / Shato Holdings)

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