Massive transformation proposed for Hudson's Bay Vancouver store (RENDERINGS)

Feb 22 2022, 7:35 pm

A landmark proposal by Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) calls for a drastic transformation of their flagship store in downtown Vancouver that preserves the iconic heritage facade while also introducing a surreal range of new uses, density, and public amenities and spaces.

The redevelopment plans for 674 Granville Street entail the addition of a 12-storey office tower over the existing six-storey heritage building, creating a total floor area of nearly 1.4 million sq ft — up from the building’s existing floor area of about 650,000 sq ft.

This includes one million sq ft of new office space for up to 5,000 additional office workers in the core of Vancouver’s Central Business District.

Another 400,000 sq ft within the bottom half of the heritage building will be available for retail and restaurant uses, including a downsized, but more efficient, Hudson’s Bay flagship store of about 350,000 sq ft. The upper floors of the heritage building will be repurposed as office space.

The existing store spans all six floors of the building, but it is extremely under-utilized, has seen little reinvestment over the decades, and lacks vertical circulation capacity (escalators, staircases, and elevators) to bring more shoppers to the upper levels. This redevelopment serves to bring new life to the store, while also generating more pedestrian foot traffic to the area through its critical mass of office and reimagined retail space.

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. Perspective from the intersection of Granville Street and West Georgia Street. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. Perspective from the south. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

A mix of dining and entertainment will be interspersed through this reimagined retail experience at Hudson’s Bay, with the store and retail focused around an open escalator concept and internal atrium.

The lower floors of the building will be completely reconfigured for a high degree of public access permeability, with a new west-east covered public pedestrian walkway created through the building for a mid-block corridor linking Granville Street and Seymour Street. This will be integrated with the new ground-level retail, and overhauled entrances for the Expo Line’s Granville Station through new pedestrian corridors.

An effort will also be made to create a more direct SkyTrain passenger foot traffic link between Granville Station and the Canada Line’s Vancouver City Centre Station via Vancouver City Centre Mall. The proponents stated that they have already reached out to TransLink for collaboration and support.

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. A new publicly accessible indoor corridor lined with retail will be established on the ground floor, linking Granville and Seymour streets and creating a new entrance for SkyTrain Granville Station. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. The reimagined, downsized Hudson’s Bay store within the bottom half of the heritage building will be organized around a store atrium. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. An open concept for escalators linking the reimagined Hudson’s Bay department store floors. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. New open spaces on the rooftop level of the heritage building. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

The underground spaces of the building will be used as an indoor bike hub with storage for up to 1,500 bicycles. This bike parkade will be seamlessly connected to street level by a covered ramping, looping walkway. No vehicle parking is planned, which is partially offset by both the SkyTrain hub beneath the building, and the bike parkade.

Above the heritage building, within the new office tower, there will be a trio of five-storey office tenant atriums overlooking the prominent intersection of Granville Street and West Georgia Street. Two other five-storey office atriums with indoor greenery are located within the upper southeast corner (overlooking the intersection of Seymour Street and West Georgia Street) and the upper northeast corner of the tower volume.

The perimeter of the heritage rooftop will also serve as an outdoor amenity space for office workers, and a vast outdoor amenity area with gardens is also planned for the rooftop of the office tower addition.

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. A five-storey office atrium will be created above the six-storey heritage building at the southwest corner, overlooking the intersection of Granville and West Georgia streets. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. A five-storey office atrium will be created above the six-storey heritage building at the southwest corner, overlooking the intersection of Granville and West Georgia streets. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. Inside the five-storey office atrium above the heritage building. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

All the while, the 1927-built heritage terracotta facade of the existing building will be retained and preserved.

The redevelopment will be built to a LEED Gold green building standard, which will be quite the feat considering the wide range of building uses, and the blend of the old with the new.

The site is affected by several mountain view cones, but the proposal’s height is limited in a way that it does not cut through the city’s protected view corridors.

HBC is pursuing this redevelopment through its New York City-based real estate development arm, Streetworks Development, established in 2020. The Vancouver flagship store redevelopment is amongst Streetworks’ first plans of redeveloping the storied department store’s real estate portfolio spanning 40 million sq ft of leasable floor area across North America.

With new stores funded through redevelopment, this will better reposition HBC to compete in both the modern brick-and-mortar and online retail landscape. For the Vancouver flagship store specifically, it will provide Hudson’s Bay with the real ability to properly compete with the modern department stores of Nordstrom and Holt Renfrew located across the street.

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. Perspective from the intersection of Granville and West Georgia streets. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Model of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. Concept of the ramp access for the underground bike parkade. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. On the rooftop of the existing heritage building. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

The redevelopment plans for the Vancouver store are designed by architectural firm Perkins & Will. The proposal will be officially revealed on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, launching the start of a period of pre-application public consultation this week.

In-person public information meetings on the proposal will be held on Wednesday, February 23 from noon to 6 pm, and Saturday, February 26 from noon to 3 pm. There will also be an on-site exhibition from Wednesday, February 23 to Sunday, February 27, held daily from 11 am to 6 pm. The in-person public information meetings and exhibition will be held on the main floor of the downtown Vancouver store. Proof of full vaccination will be requested by staff. A virtual public information meeting is also planned for Thursday, February 24 from 7 pm to 8 pm.

After this week’s initial public consultation, a formal rezoning application will be submitted to the City of Vancouver sometime over the coming weeks.

If all goes as planned with the project receiving its necessary various approvals, construction could start in early 2024, with completion likely in 2027 or 2028. HBC will remain as the owner and operator of the building through its in-house property and investment arm.

The proponents estimate the project will generate $1.65 billion in local economic output during construction, with nearly 8,000 construction jobs to be created.

If approved as currently planned, this redevelopment would be slightly larger than Quadreal Property Group’s redevelopment of the former Canada Post building into The Post, which has 1.3 million sq ft of total floor area, including 1.13 million sq ft of Amazon office space and about 200,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space. The Post will reach completion in two phases between Fall 2022 and Fall 2023. Both the Hudson’s Bay and Canada Post redevelopments carry the similar concepts of retaining a heritage facade, introducing new retail, and adding office towers above the heritage structure.

Perkins & Will is also the design firm for Bonnis Properties’ 800 Granville Street redevelopment proposal, just one block to the south.

Hudson's Bay Vancouver

Current condition of the Hudson’s Bay flagship store in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)

674 Granville Street Vancouver hudsons bay redevelopment

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment of Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship store at 674 Granville Street. Perspective from the intersection of West Georgia and Granville streets. (Perkins & Will/Streetworks Development/Hudson’s Bay Company)

 

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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