Vancouver seeking redevelopment interest for Granville Bridge loops

May 18 2018, 12:11 am

The City of Vancouver is offering two large sites on the northern end of the Granville Street Bridge to developers for major redevelopment opportunities.

Both sites, totalling 1.86 acres of developable land, on either side of the bridge deck are currently occupied by the looping exit ramps that connect the road travel lanes to Pacific Boulevard.


Granville Bridge Loop

The western Granville Bridge loop. (Google Maps)


Granville Bridge Loops

The eastern Granville Bridge loop. (Google Maps)

However, unlike the adjacent site at 601 Beach Crescent, the municipal government is currently seeing interest in leasing the properties, not ownership. The long-term lease for these properties at 625-675 Pacific Street and 777 Pacific Street will last for 99 years.

The sites will be further subdivided into four blocks once the loops are demolished and an H-shaped road grid is constructed.

Future of the Granville Loops. (City of Vancouver)

Subject to the rezoning process, the municipal government anticipates about 725,000 sq. ft. of floor area can be built on all of the blocks combined, giving the potential redevelopment a floor space ratio density of about nine times the size of the lot size.

Currently, the sites are zoned for permissible uses such as hotel, retail, light industrial, office, commercial services, parking area, parks and open space, institutional, residential, and casino-bingo hall.

Although the properties are up for lease, the city is still stipulating significant public amenities and affordable and social housing.

At least 58 social housing units must be built as part of the East Loop redevelopment, and 51 social housing units and a 37-space childcare facility are required for the West Loop.

As well, two of the four blocks should be affordable rental residential buildings with 20% of the units rented at below market rental rates. Market rents can be applied for the remaining 80% of the units.

Currently, the West Loop is used as a temporary city works yard and the headquarters of Black Top & Checkers Cabs. The cab company’s lease on the site expires on July 1, 2018.

Preliminary concept of what a redevelopment of the Granville Loops could look like. (Cressey Development Group)

Planning for the redevelopment of the loops has been a near-decade-long process, and a final decision was made in December 2017 when city council approved an $18-million plan to demolish the loops and build a new street network.

Both loops are immediately adjacent to the under-construction, 493-ft-tall Vancouver House and the proposed 535-ft-tall skyscraper at 601 Beach Crescent. The redevelopments of the loops will not be nearly as tall, as these towers are intended to provide a visual gateway into the city from the bridge.

In 2016, the municipal government sold the site at 601 Beach Crescent to local developer Pinnacle International for $20 million, with further amounts of $44.5 million towards 152 units of affordable housing and as much as $127.75 million if the tower’s total floor area reaches as much as 350,000 sq. ft.

601 Beach Crescent Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 601 Beach Crescent, Vancouver. (Jyom Architecture / Pinnacle International)

Artistic rendering of Vancouver House. (Westbank / Bjarke Ingels Group)

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