Proposal for Towers Adjacent to Gilmore Skytrain Station
The developer is proposing to turn the area immediately surrounding Gilmore Skytrain Station into a mecca of development, with some 3 million SF of residential and commercial space spread out over 5 separate towers. Construction of a transit village, similar to the one being constructed at Brentwood Mall will occur over 12 acres of prime land. Developer Omni Group proposes close to 2,500 residential units for the property, including 743,200 SF of retail and 996,900 SF of office.i This proposal puts forth a truly mixed-use and transit-oriented vision for the lands that adjoin the rapid transit station.
A Look at the Transit-Oriented Urban Village Around Gilmore Skytrain Station
What is it Replacing?
The site is currently home to 4 low-rise office/light industrial buildings which will be demolished to make way for the new development. Omni Group is the manager of the two taller buildings which are 4190 and 4180 Lougheeed Highway. At 4180 Lougheed the total height is 6-storeys while at 4190 Lougheed it is 5-storeys, both were built in 1983. The building at 4180 Lougheed Highway contains a total of 86,521 SF of office space and is classified as Class B office. The building at 4190 Lougheed Highway is a total of 70,004 SF and is also classified as Class B office space.ii There are also two other 2-storey buildings along Dawson Street. One houses a Gold’s Gym at 4161 Dawson Street and the other houses Stanley Security located at 4175 Dawson Street. As we’ve seen with previous demolitions of low-rise buildings in other parts of the city, land values in Metro Vancouver are so high as to justify the destruction of relatively new and dense buildings.
Buildings at Commerce Court Along Lougheed Highway to be Demolished
Buildings along Dawson Street to be Demolished
A New Norm?
The construction of new urban villages at select rapid transit stations (Brentwood Mall, Marine Gateway) marks a pronounced shift away from traditional development patterns. The large indoor malls surrounded by a sea of pavement are a thing of the past, what consumer’s desire now are destinations that are directly adjacent to high capacity transit like Skytrain. This new type of development only makes sense; it will always be the land directly beside stations that warrants the highest and best use when it comes to new development. There is still a wealth of different stations that could benefit from this form of development, with many still surrounded by a mostly low-density urban form. It will be very interesting to see which stations are slated for further intensification in the near future.
Plans for Towers Beside Gilmore Station in Burnaby
Artist Rendering of the New Gilmore Station Development
View of Burrard Place from the Burrard Street Bridge
Remember Jim Pattison’s proposed 54-storey Burrard Gateway tower which was approved by Vancouver City Council back in 2013? The two-building complex was proposed for the site of the current Downtown Toyota dealership, a block that borders Burrard, Drake and Hornby Streets. Well, the people at Reliance Properties are now selling units for their new tower while also offering updated renderings of the mammoth project now called Burrard Place. There will be a total of 1,000,000 square feet spread out across 3 building, with the largest of these being the 500,000 square foot, 444 unit One Burrard Place. Burrard Place will also be home to a 135,000 square-foot 13-storey office building which will house the Downtown Toyota dealership, as well as a 35-storey residential tower that will be located midway along Hornby Street.i
View of the Proposed 13-Storey and 54-Storey Burrad Place Buildings
What is Being Replaced?
The site has long been home to the dealership and several surface parking lots. It is also worth noting the few older Victorian-era homes which have managed to hold on all this time, these homes will also be lost in the redevelopment of the block. Both houses were built in 1904 and the developer has offered them for free to anyone who is willing to move them from their current site.ii The dealership will remain on site and housed in a newer multi-level building which features a waved glass shape, reminiscent of an open book.
Historic Houses Built in 1904 Along Hornby Street
13-Storey Office Building and Future Home of Downtown Toyota
Burrard Place is being marketed towards Vancouver’s well to-do, with an assortment of luxury services and amenities that are sure to make the residence a unique offering. At the heart of this is Club One which will house 30,000 SQ. FT. of facilities that include dining, yoga, fitness, spa and pool areas. Another feature of the building will be the Star Services which will offer a chef, event planner, DJ, mixologist and butler concierge to those calling the new building home. iii Burrard Place will also feature a Meinhart’s Fine Foods grocery store; this will be Meinhart’s third store in Vancouver. iv
View from the Corner of Hornby and Drake Streets
Recently the market for new office space in Downtown Vancouver seems to have come alive. What was once unthinkable in a sea of ever rising condos has now become Vancouver’s new face of Downtown tower projects. Over the past 10-15 years Vancouver`s livability has been put in serious jeopardy as the Downtown area has become less and less a place to work and more and more a bedroom community in its own right.
The Burrard Gateway project would sit at the site of the current Downtown Toyota dealership. The design incorporates the existing dealership and actually maintains it on the same corner as it is now. Below is a picture of how the development would look for people traveling North along the Burrard Street bridge into downtown.
Burrard Gateway Project.