East Vancouver heritage building could see restoration with new retail and rentals

Jul 19 2019, 1:56 am

Built in 1910, a two-storey building in the Ceddar Cottage neighbourhood, spurred by Vancouver’s former streetcar network, could be on the verge of seeing an uplift and expansion.

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A development application for 3495 Commercial Street — just west of Victoria Drive, and north of East 20th Avenue — has been submitted by Marianne Amodio and Harley Grusko Architects. The intent is to retain and restore the existing mixed-use building, while also adding a third storey, and create a four-storey infill residential building at the rear of the lot.

Broadhurst + Whitaker Block at 3495 Commercial Street, Vancouver.

Site of Broadhurst + Whitaker Block at 3495 Commercial Street, Vancouver. (Marianne Amodio and Harley Grusko Architects)

Broadhurst + Whitaker Block at 3495 Commercial Street, Vancouver

Present day condition: Broadhurst + Whitaker Block at 3495 Commercial Street, Vancouver. (Marianne Amodio and Harley Grusko Architects)

Named as the Broadhurst + Whitaker Block, the first level of the heritage building will be utilized as four retail units spanning 2,800 sq. ft. of commercial space, the upper level will be designated as strata dwelling units, and the new third level will be market rental units.

There will be 18 homes, including eight one-bedroom units and 10 two-bedroom units. Four of the one-bedroom units will be rentals.

Altogether the modestly-sized project aims to create about 18,600 sq. ft. of total floor area, supported by nine spaces.

A courtyard space between the heritage building and infill building will be an outdoor amenity space shared between residents and commercial tenants. Each home has access to the outdoors.

Broadhurst + Whitaker Block at 3495 Commercial Street, Vancouver.

Artistic rendering of Broadhurst + Whitaker Block at 3495 Commercial Street, Vancouver. (Marianne Amodio and Harley Grusko Architects)

Broadhurst + Whitaker Block at 3495 Commercial Street, Vancouver. heritage building

Artistic rendering of Broadhurst + Whitaker Block at 3495 Commercial Street, Vancouver. (Marianne Amodio and Harley Grusko Architects)

Following the heritage upgrades, the proponents are proposing a heritage designation to the building to protect it.

“While its value as a public amenity is indisputable, the Broadhurst + Whitaker Block is currently in a state of severe disrepair after many years of neglect. All units, both commercial and residential are currently abandoned,” reads the application.

Historical context in the application notes that the building is one of the oldest mixed-commercial and residential buildings in the area. During the booming economy of the early 20th century, real estate agents Charles Frederick Broadhurst and Frederick A. Whitaker commissioned the construction of the building and opened their office on the ground floor.

“The intent of the proposal is primarily to preserve, rehabilitate and restore the existing significant Heritage Building and return it to its rightful place as an integral component of this historic community,” adds the application.

Broadhurst + Whitaker Block at 3495 Commercial Street, Vancouver. heritage building

1913 condition: Broadhurst + Whitaker Block at 3495 Commercial Street, Vancouver. (Marianne Amodio and Harley Grusko Architects)

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