Vertical industrial buildings proposed for South Vancouver

May 29 2020, 11:37 am

A new mixed-use industrial and office complex is proposed for South Vancouver, for a location next to the retail complex with Best Buy and Canadian Tire, and relatively near SkyTrain’s Marine Drive Station.

Local developer Wesbild’s development application for 8188 Manitoba Street — just south of Marine Drive — will redevelop existing warehouse structures with 60,000 sq ft of floor area into two new six-storey industrial buildings, with a combined total floor area of about 340,000 sq ft. The project’s design firm is MGBA Architecture.

This includes about 230,000 sq ft of industrial space on the lower levels, including over 50,000 sq ft of warehouse space on the ground level.

8188 Manitoba Street Vancouver

Site of 8188 Manitoba Street, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

8188 Manitoba Street Vancouver

Site of 8188 Manitoba Street, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

Within the top two levels, there will be 110,000 sq ft of office space, built using cross-laminated timber.

A loading dock spine between the two buildings services the ground-level warehouse space.

8188 Manitoba Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 8188 Manitoba Street, Vancouver. (MGBA Architecture / Westbild)

8188 Manitoba Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 8188 Manitoba Street, Vancouver. (MGBA Architecture / Westbild)

The complex will have 439 vehicle parking stalls, including 359 underground stalls and 80 ground-level stalls.

This is one of the largest industrial developments proposed for Vancouver in years, and it’s the largest yet for “vertical industrial.” A shortage of space and high demand have propelled rents, narrowed the industrial vacancy rate to just 1%, and forced businesses to seek industrial space in suburban municipalities, where there is more availability and less traffic congestion.

A high demand for additional industrial space is expected now and over the long term.

8188 Manitoba Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 8188 Manitoba Street, Vancouver. (MGBA Architecture / Westbild)

8188 Manitoba Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 8188 Manitoba Street, Vancouver. (MGBA Architecture / Westbild)

“The building typology is vertical industrial, which is still in its infancy of market recognition and absorption, therefore converting existing ground-oriented industrial users to upper floors and densifying Vancouver’s industrial supply will be challenging,” reads the application.

“Although it is important to protect the industrial zoning due to the regional industrial scarcity, for this form of development to be successful, the allowable uses on the upper floors needs to be flexible to be able to adapt to the rapidly changing nature of industrial and office uses.”

Vertical industrial buildings are common in dense urban centres where there is a shortage of land, such as Hong Kong and Singapore. A few of these structures are also planned for Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant and Strathcona areas, but those projects are smaller.