Major office towers proposed next to SkyTrain Marine Drive Station

Sep 24 2021, 10:47 pm

A significant mixed-use office, retail, and industrial complex is proposed to replace the Kia car dealership site immediately east of Marine Gateway and SkyTrain Marine Drive Station in South Vancouver.

Mercury Properties, owned by Hungerford Properties, has submitted a rezoning application to redevelop the three-acre site at 396 Southwest Marine Drive — the southeast corner of the intersection of Yukon Street and Marine Drive. This site is currently zoned for industrial uses.

Designed by HDR Architecture, the proposal calls for a 250-ft-tall, 19-storey west tower, closest to Marine Gateway, and a 165-ft-tall, 10-storey east tower — all above an interconnected three-storey podium.

A north-south plaza doubling as a mid-block pedestrian connection divides both buildings, which are linked together by a pedestrian bridge over the plaza on the third level.

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Site of 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Site of 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

A childcare facility with 5,100 sq ft of indoor space and 5,900 sq ft of outdoor space would be situated on the third level, built by the developer as a public benefit for the municipal government.

The upper levels of both towers would contain 396,000 sq ft of office space, targeted for tech companies, institutions, and small- and medium-sized businesses that have limited options in the local office market.

Below the office floors, the lower levels in the podium would uniquely contain vertical industrial space, including 140,000 sq ft of light industrial uses, 28,600 sq ft of storefront industrial uses (such as for breweries and distilleries), and 30,200 sq ft of industrial mezzanine area.

About 9,800 sq ft of dedicated retail and restaurant space is situated on the ground level to activate the building’s centre plaza and a portion of its Marine Drive frontage closest to Marine Gateway.

All of these diverse job spaces combined are expected to support 3,400 employees upon completion.

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

“The design was influenced by the layers of different programs stacked together forming a vertical community of mixed uses including light industrial, retail and office,” reads the design rationale by the architect, noting that the stacked design is inspired by shipping containers.

“The design offers a campus-like setting with opportunities for collaboration and cross-pollination among entities.”

Green design elements could entail green roofs and urban gardens.

Four underground levels contain 674 vehicle parking spaces and 349 bike parking spaces, with the first basement level also partially used for some of the project’s industrial floor area.

The total floor area is 679,000 sq ft for a floor area ratio density of a floor area that is 4.5 times larger than the size of the lot.

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Cross-section view of 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Site of 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Site of 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

The Kia dealership site is one of two large industrial sites along Marine Drive acquired by Hungerford Properties in 2018. A few blocks to the east, just west of Main Street, the developer also owns the 12.5-acre industrial site at 86 Southeast Marine Drive, which was previously owned by Walmart for its failed proposal to build a major store location, and then subsequently used as a Dueck car dealership. A formal application for 86 Southeast Marine Drive is expected very soon.

For its proposal at 396 Southwest Marine Drive, the proponent states its concept was developed after receiving input from the city in response to the May 2018 rezoning inquiry submission and discussions with city staff.

The project’s uses and scope align with the city’s transit-oriented development approach, Marpole Community Plan’s Intensive Employment designation, and the Employment Lands and Economy Review approved by Vancouver City Council last year, which calls for the intensification of job space in strategic areas such as near Marine Drive Station.

Furthermore, in November 2020, city council also approved city staff’s request to consider applications with higher density and height along Marine Drive near the SkyTrain station, and along Cambie Street between Marine Drive and the Fraser River, with the stipulation that the proposals focus on providing additional employment spaces and/or affordable housing.

This past summer, city council also directed city staff to widen the door for building applications, by providing pre-application enquiries on concepts that do not meet existing city policies with a path to the formal rezoning application stage. Ever since this direction was given, there has been a new wave of major proposals across the city.

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Public space plan for 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

396 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 396 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Mercury Properties/Hungerford Properties/HDR Architecture)

The consideration for higher densities and heights around Marine Drive Station supports a number of recent applications, including Intracorp Homes’ application to redevelop the Ashley-Mar Housing Co-op at 8495 Cambie Street into 649 rental homes in three towers up to 31 storeys, and Chard Development’s application to replace the Denny’s restaurant at 622 Southwest Marine Drive into 573 rental homes in two towers up to 32 storeys.

Earlier this month, PCI Developments publicized its proposal to redevelop the five-acre car dealership site at 8530 Cambie Street — immediately south of the Marine Drive Station bus loop — into the second phase of their Marine Gateway complex. This would entail five towers, including four residential towers and one office tower.

If approved, Marine Gateway 2 would be the single largest project in the area around the transit hub, with over 1,000 homes — a mix of 680 market rental units, 170 moderate-income rental units, and 203 below-market ownership homes — plus 40,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space, 280,000 sq ft of office space, and 300,000 sq ft of light industrial space.

622 Southwest Marine Drive Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 622 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership/Chard Development)

8460 Ash Street 8495 Cambie Street Ashley Mar Co-op

January 2021 artistic rendering of the Ashley Mar Co-op at 8460 Ash Street and 8495 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Perkins & Will/Intracorp Homes)

marine gateway 2 pci developments 8530 cambie street

Artistic rendering of Marine Gateway 2 at 8530 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Perkins&Will/PCI Developments)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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