This year marked the end of the era of the last major industrial enterprise in Vancouver’s Burrard Slopes area, now that the historic Molson Coors brewery’s operations of keeping Western Canada supplied have been relocated to a new and expanded production hub in Chilliwack.
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There has been some speculation over the future of the 7.6-acre property at 1550 Burrard Street — located at the south end of the Burrard Street Bridge — ever since it was acquired by local developer Concord Pacific for just under $200 million about three years ago.
The intention for a major mixed-use redevelopment has always been certain; here is a first glimpse of some of the highly preliminary concepts for Quantum Park, created before the Squamish First Nation’s announcement of their plans to build Senakw on their 11.7-acre Kitsilano reserve, situated immediately north of the brewery.
Concord Pacific wants to turn its brewery property into a high-density redevelopment with both residential and office as primary uses.
The latest known concept envisions three buildings, with a large complex on the west side of the property — fronting Burrard Street — entailing four towers that are interconnected by a multi-storey podium and multi-storey rooftop sky bridge.
Two comparatively smaller buildings are located on the eastern end of the property, with the easternmost tower also featuring a multi-level rooftop sky bridge — an architectural concept that Concord Pacific has used for its Arc Vancouver and Parade Toronto developments.
The redevelopment would also entail significant public spaces, including courtyard-like atrium areas covered by an extensive glass canopy.
But with the First Nation’s approval of Senakw, the design for Quantum Park could potentially change considerably.
There could be refinements to the design’s form that allow the redevelopment to better respond to Senakw’s towers and new public park. Moreover, the precedent set by the peaking heights and surreal density of Senakw could lead to a revised design that is far more ambitious.
However, these envisioned uses of the former brewery are entirely contingent on the City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver Regional District permitting site uses other than traditional industrial.
As well, the First Nation’s recent decision to proceed with their redevelopment only provides a stronger case for Concord Pacific’s request for a change of land use designation.
In the meantime, until the project receives its full approvals and is ready for construction, the property and its 1953-built building are available for lease for uses such as warehousing. A leasing listing posted by CBRE earlier this year remains active.