5 transformative construction projects reaching completion in Metro Vancouver in 2023

Jan 5 2023, 11:22 pm

Some of Metro Vancouver’s largest and most notable building and infrastructure projects currently under construction will reach completion in 2023.

While there is currently a slowdown in construction starts, especially in residential uses, most of the handful of highlighted projects began construction well before the pandemic.

In 2022, the first wave of the pre-pandemic office tower construction boom reached completion, including major projects such as Westbank’s Deloitte Summit, GWL Realty Advisors’ Vancouver Centre II, and Oxford Properties’ The Stack, which is now Metro Vancouver’s new tallest office building with a height of 530 ft — containing 37 storeys and 550,000 sq ft of AAA office space.

The first two buildings of Burrard Place also reached completion in 2022, including One Burrard Place — Vancouver’s new third tallest building, reaching a height of 550 ft with 54 storeys with residential uses.

By the middle of 2023, Two Gilmore Place will top out in its construction, with the tower reaching a pinnacle height of 708 ft with 64 storeys to become Metro Vancouver’s new tallest building — exceeding the height of Living Shangri-La in downtown Vancouver. However, the full completion of Gilmore Place’s first phase on the west side of SkyTrain Gilmore Station is not anticipated until 2024.

In 2024, two notable projects that will reach completion include Oakridge Park, the redevelopment of Oakridge Centre. Currently, a major construction zone with the previous indoor mall now demolished, much of the new replacement indoor and outdoor mall and community centre components are expected to open by late 2024, marking the completion of the first phase of the redevelopment and re-establishing Oakridge as a major node in Vancouver after years of construction. This includes the world’s largest Time Out Market food hall. The remaining residential and office components of this project will be phased through 2028.

Cadillac Fairview told Daily Hive Urbanized the complete renovation of the CF Pacific Centre’s hotel tower, previously the Four Seasons up until early 2020, will reach completion sometime after 2023. The hotel operator has yet to be formally announced, but Cadillac Fairview previously indicated it will be a “leading global hotel and entertainment brand that will be unique not only in Vancouver but the rest of Canada.” Extensive work on rebuilding the tower’s interior and exterior still needs to be performed.

But before skipping ahead to 2024, here is what is in store for 2023 with major construction project completions.

Capstan Station

The addition of Capstan Station on the SkyTrain Canada Line will be transformative for improving the regional accessibility of Richmond City Centre and reducing vehicle dependence for a new dense residential community.

The long-planned station near the northeast corner of the intersection of No. 3 Road and Capstan Way — roughly mid-way between Bridgeport and Aberdeen stations — first began construction in September 2021, and it is scheduled to reach completion and open in 2023. The cost of construction is $52 million.

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December 2022 construction progress on SkyTrain Capstan Station. (Kevin T.)

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December 2022 construction progress on SkyTrain Capstan Station. (Kevin T.)

Capstan Station will transform Capstan Village into a transit-oriented neighbourhood, which is expected to be home to 16,000 residents within over 6,000 homes within roughly a 10-minute walking distance of the station.

The City of Richmond provided $32 million towards the project, funded by fees collected by the area’s developers for every new condominium unit built, and TransLink provided the remaining $20 million.

This is the first development-driven and funded partnership in TransLink’s history.

capstan station skytrain canada line

Artistic rendering of Capstan Station on SkyTrain Canada Line. (Office of McFarlane Biggar Architects & Designers/TransLink)

capstan station skytrain canada line

Artistic rendering of Capstan Station on SkyTrain Canada Line. (Office of McFarlane Biggar Architects & Designers/TransLink)

The Post with Amazon’s new Vancouver office hub

Quadreal Property Group’s redevelopment of Canada Post’s old regional processing centre in downtown Vancouver is a feat of heritage preservation, sustainability, and scale.

The city block-sized industrial building has been largely preserved and reused, with its innards gutted and converted into new retail and office uses and vehicle parking spaces.

The Post’s 185,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant uses within the base levels of the heritage podium represent the single largest new addition of retail space within the downtown Vancouver peninsula since the completion of International Village mall two decades ago.

And by reusing the building, a significant amount of concrete has not been demolished and trucked to landfills, reducing the potential of higher emissions from the construction process.

As well, two new office towers have risen from the rooftop of the heritage podium’s north and south ends. Altogether, with 1.1 million sq ft of office space, The Post is the single largest office building in Metro Vancouver.

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Construction progress on The Post in Vancouver, as of January 2, 2023. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

The south office tower reached completion in late 2022, while the remainder of the complex — the retail/restaurant uses and the north office tower — will be finished by the end of 2023. Construction first began in late 2018, ending years of its temporary use as a film and television production studio.

But beyond design, what makes The Post transformative is its tenants.

The retail component’s anchor tenants include a flagship 50,000 sq ft Loblaws City Market grocery store, a 26,000 sq ft food hall by The Joseph Richard Group, and a 35,000 sq ft Evolve Strength fitness gym.

And of course, the entirety of The Post’s office space will be occupied by Amazon as its largest corporate office in Vancouver. This will be the home base of 6,000 Amazon office workers.

Altogether, the scale, uses, and tenants of The Post serve to add vibrancy to downtown Vancouver and expand the Central Business District’s gravity of influence eastward — something that first began in 2015 with the completion of the TELUS Garden office tower, and is further compounded by the recent completion of Vancouver Centre II.

The Post has also catalyzed other office building developments in the area, including Deloitte Summit across the street.

The Post Canada Post redevelopment Vancouver

January 2019 diagram of The Post redevelopment in downtown Vancouver. (QuadReal Property Group)

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Conceptual artistic rendering of the Food Hall within The Post in downtown Vancouver. (QuadReal Property Group)

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Artistic rendering of the mall-like publicly accessible retail area along Homer Street at The Post. (QuadReal Property Group)

B6 with Microsoft’s new Vancouver office expansion

The 403 ft tall, 33-storey B6 office tower at the southeast corner of the intersection of West Pender Street and Thurlow Street will be one of Vancouver’s largest office buildings in terms of its floor area, reaching 562,000 sq ft of AAA office space.

Construction first began in 2019, and it is set to expected to reach completion towards the middle of 2023.

What makes B6 transformative is its anchor tenant: Daily Hive Urbanized previously exclusively reported Microsoft will occupy at least 400,000 sq ft of office space across at least 20 storeys. There will be enough office space for thousands of Microsoft workers, enabling a major expansion of the tech giant into Vancouver and adding vitality to the core of the Central Business District.

Microsoft’s presence at B6 will be at least about three times larger than its 2016-opened office above Nordstrom at CF Pacific Centre.

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Construction progress on the B6 office tower in Vancouver, as of January 2, 2023. (BentallGreenOak)

1090 West Pender Street Vancouver

2019 artistic rendering of 1090 West Pender Street, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership/Bentall Kennedy)

B6 office tower Bentall Kennedy

Artistic of the B6 office tower at 1090 West Pender Street, Vancouver. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership/Bentall Kennedy)

Landmark on Robson

The entire 1400 block of Robson Street has been a construction zone since March 2018, when demolition first began on the 394 ft tall, 42-storey Empire Landmark Hotel tower. The hotel closed in September 2017.

The demolition of the 1973-built hotel tower, which featured a restaurant observation attraction on its top floor, was the tallest building demolition in Vancouver’s history. The entire demolition process took about a year and a half, as the tower was erased from the skyline floor-by-floor using the more environmentally-friendly Brokk system of demolition, instead of a quick implosion.

Empire Landmark Hotel

Preparation for the demolition of Empire Landmark Hotel in downtown Vancouver on March 1, 2018. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

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Construction progress on Landmark on Robson at 1400 Robson Street, Vancouver, as of August 7, 2022. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

Asia Standard Americas will reach completion this year on Landmark on Robson’s mixed-use development with two shorter towers — reaching a height of about 300 ft with 28 and 30 storeys, about 100 ft shorter than their predecessor due to mountain view cones.

The towers above the podium will contain about 240 condominium homes, while 84 social housing units within the podium will face the laneway. Some office uses will be found within the second level of the podium.

There is no replacement hotel, but podium will offer significant new restaurant and retail spaces along the ground level — activating the building’s Robson Street frontage and strengthening the retail strip with its seamless continuity of storefronts.

Artistic rendering of the planned residential development. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership)

The Butterfly

Westbank’s The Butterfly tower in downtown Vancouver is the most significant project to be catalyzed by the City of Vancouver’s West End Community Plan to date, and the largest partnership ever in Vancouver between a private developer and a religious institution.

First Baptist Church partnered with Westbank as a means of providing their 1911-built church with much-needed seismic upgrades and restorations, as well as a major expansion of their congregation space.

The Butterfly is rising up from the footprint of the church’s former surface parking lot. Westbank told Daily Hive Urbanized the 586 ft tall, 57-storey condominium tower is scheduled to top out on its top floor in early Spring 2023.

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Construction progress of The Butterfly in Vancouver, as of December 28, 2022. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture/Westbank)

Upon topping out, The Butterfly will become Vancouver’s new third-tallest building — overtaking One Burrard Place. It will also appear taller in the skyline due to the site being on the highest elevation on the downtown peninsula.

Designed by Revery Architecture, the shape of the tower is inspired by church organs, and its exterior panelling system gives the facade a distinct zebra-like appearance.

An indoor galleria will fill the gap between the heritage church and the expanded congregation space within the lower levels of the tower.

To the west of the tower, the project includes the construction of a seven-storey building with 61 units of social housing.

The project is providing about $100 million in community amenity contributions (CACs), including the in-kind value of the church restoration and expansion and the inclusion of social housing, and $63 million in financial contributions to the municipal government towards the West End Plan’s amenities.

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture/Westbank)

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Artistic rendering of the new indoor galleria of First Baptist Church, as part of The Butterfly project. (Revery Architecture/Westbank)

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