Old Tom Lee Music building to become 70,000 sq. ft. co-working office

Mar 2 2018, 5:18 am

The massive neon Tom Lee Music sign on the exterior of the building at 919 Granville Street is long gone, as construction crews are now busily preparing the building for its next major  tenant.

An Amsterdam-based multinational co-working office space company will take over most of the old Tom Lee Music Building on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver.

Spaces is leasing 70,000 sq. ft. in the 1927-built, six-storey building, and this includes all of the upper floors and 2,000 sq. ft. of ground-level retail space that will be used as a lobby and cafeteria area.

Some restaurant and retail tenants have already signed on for the building’s remaining storefront spaces.

Colliers International’s Colin Scarlett, who is Spaces’ real estate advisor, told Daily Hive the Granville Entertainment District office space will be the company’s largest location in Canada and “really supports the future of co-working, which is clearly a huge occupant in the city.”

Spaces 919 Granville Street

Renovations are being made to the old Tom Lee Music building in downtown Vancouver for Spaces. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

With employment space for between 500 and 550 people, Scarlett says the building’s new purpose will have a “huge positive impact” on Granville Street.

Charles Gauthier, President and CEO of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, also believes this is the right type of project that will provide much-needed activity for this part of the Granville strip.

“We’re excited that Spaces and other tenants will be moving into this heritage building,” said Gauthier.

“The addition of hundreds of entrepreneurs in this building and the immediate area has already sparked renewed interest and investment by others to start and expand businesses to cater to these workers.”

“Without a doubt, this is a game-changer that we have been waiting for and it is happening now.”

The new location, which could open by the end of this year, will add to Spaces’ strong presence in the city, as the company already has a 40,000-sq-ft office at 151 West Hastings Street in Gastown.

Co-working spaces have been rapidly expanding in Vancouver over recent years, with WeWork being the largest international operator. Its presence includes an 80,000-sq-ft office at Bentall III, a 53,000-sq-ft expansion space at Bentall II, and a future 150,000-sq-ft location within the top two floors of the Hudson’s Bay’s flagship store.

Last year, Tom Lee Music vacated its home of about three decades and relocated to a 14,000-sq-ft space above Vancouver Centre Mall at the corner of Granville Street and West Georgia Street.

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