The City of Vancouver has leased more office space outside of the existing City Hall campus for its growing workspace needs.
In an email to Daily Hive, the municipal government confirmed it has leased 43,400 sq. ft. of office space at the under-construction, seven-storey commercial building at 510 West Broadway — the southwest corner of the prominent intersection of West Broadway and Cambie Street, just one block north of City Hall.
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This accounts for all of the new building’s office space between levels three and seven. The first two levels are dedicated for retail and restaurants.
There is 61,400 sq. ft. of total floor area in this building, plus two underground levels for vehicle parking.
The city says 510 West Broadway will be utilized for the Department of Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability. Over 250 staff will work here when the space is ready for occupancy in late 2020 or early 2021.
Just south of 510 West Broadway, departments such as Licensing and Permitting are working in an older off-campus office building at 515 West 10th Avenue.
All of this is in addition to the 90,900 sq. ft. of space the municipal government already leases from Triovest’s Crossroads building, immediately across the street at 507 West Broadway.
Crossroads has 87,700 sq. ft. of office space within its upper levels, which are entirely occupied by the Department of Engineering and the Department of Real Estate and Facilities Management. These spaces accommodate over 520 staff.
The city also leases a 3,200-sq-ft, ground-level unit — formerly a lululemon store — for the City Lab public engagement space.
City planners have been working at Crossroads for some years now, but such commercial office spaces for city staff are intended to be an interim solution, until a new significant City Hall campus is constructed on the city-owned block immediately north of the existing City Hall campus — where the Canada Line station entrance is located.
The city block is currently occupied by ground-level parking and a handful of low-storey commercial buildings, which will be demolished to create the needed construction staging area for the Millennium Line Broadway Extension.
Master planning work for the new City Hall campus will begin soon, with public consultation starting in early 2020. If it receives its various city council approvals, including the necessary capital funding, it could be built in the middle of the next decade.
The mixed-use campus development will not only bring city departments together, but it will also include a new City Council chambers, public counters and other public spaces and a significantly improved public realm. It will integrate with the expanded Broadway-City Hall Station, as a result of the converge of the Millennium Line with the Canada Line.
A new City Hall campus is needed due to the deteriorating condition of the 1935-built art deco building at 453 West 12th Avenue, which falls short of modern seismic standards and office space standards, according to previous city reports. The East Wing, completed in 1970, was demolished two years ago over similar safety and health concerns.