Grosvenor set to build 7-storey artist production hub in downtown Vancouver

Dec 3 2019, 7:18 pm

As one of the single largest in-kind community amenity contribution (CAC) projects in Vancouver to date, Grosvenor Americas is set to begin construction on a seven-storey building that will become a multi-purpose arts and culture hub.

This non-residential building at 825 Pacific Street — the northwest corner of the intersection of Howe Street and Pacific Street, just across from Vancouver House — will contain approximately 21,000 sq. ft. of affordable production studios and office space for artists and non-profit organizations based in the city.

825 pacific street vancouver

Site of 825 Pacific Street, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

825 pacific street vancouver

Site of 825 Pacific Street, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

The UK-based international developer, owned by the Duke of Westminster, is building this project as a key component of its total $40.7-million CAC contribution in exchange for the city’s rezoning approval of The Pacific — an under-construction 39-storey tower with 214 luxury homes at 1380 Hornby Street, on the western parcel of the development footprint.

Such spaces for artists aligns with the municipal government’s recently-approved 10-year strategy of creating, repurposing, and expanding 800,000 sq. ft. of affordable city, non-profit, and private spaces for arts and culture. This includes 650,000 of new or repurposed space.

825 Pacific Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 825 Pacific Street, Vancouver. (IBI Group / Grosvenor Americas)

It comes at a time when the city is haemorrhaging artist studio space due to the shrinkage in the availability of affordable industrial space largely in East Vancouver. Over the last 10 years, it is estimated Vancouver lost about 400,000 sq. ft. of artist studio space, mostly due to residential development or commercial conversions.

“We understand the importance of supporting the local arts community and ensuring that artists have a place to create within the downtown core,” said Michael Ward, senior vice-president of development and general manager for Grosvenor Americas’ Vancouver division, in a statement.

“We are excited to be developing this Passive House building for the City of Vancouver to provide much needed studio space to deserving local artists and non-profits.”

Designed by IBI Group, the 34-ft-wide building squeezed into a small parcel of the lot will be constructed to a Passive House green building standard, producing nearly zero greenhouse gas emissions during its decades-long operation.

The municipal government is currently in the process of selecting an arts and culture non-profit operator to manage the building.

825 Pacific Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 825 Pacific Street, Vancouver. (IBI Group / Grosvenor Americas)

“We are really pleased to be working with Grosvenor to secure much needed space to serve Vancouver’s arts and culture community,” said Branislav Henselmann, managing director of cultural services for the City of Vancouver.

“There exists an urgent need for dedicated, sustainable, and affordable studio space in Vancouver and this is an opportunity to continue to partner with the community to ensure space for arts and culture.”

Other CACs provided by Grosvenor, generated by its The Pacific tower, include a daycare, transportation improvements, public realm and greenway improvements, public art, and a cash contribution towards the city’s affordable housing reserve. As well, the project’s design restores and incorporates an on-site heritage home into the overall redevelopment.

Both The Pacific — designed by Montreal-based ACDF Architecture and IBI Group — and the arts and culture hub are expected to reach completion in 2021.

1380 Hornby Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Pacific By Grosvenor at 1380 Hornby Street and the non-profit arts building at 825 Pacific Street. (ACDF Architecture / IBI Group / Grosvenor Americas)

1380 Hornby Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Pacific By Grosvenor at 1380 Hornby Street, Vancouver. (ACDF Architecture / IBI Group / Grosvenor Americas)

825 Pacific Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Pacific By Grosvenor at 1380 Hornby Street, Vancouver. (ACDF Architecture / IBI Group / Grosvenor Americas)