BC Place to see new 17-storey office tower and entertainment pavilion (PHOTOS)
A Vancouver City council decision Tuesday night means BC Place stadium is about to get cozy with 17 new storeys of office space, and another six for arts and entertainment.
That’s because outside stadium gates A and B, facing Georgia Street, Westbank Corporation is proposing a major redevelopment of the Creative Energy Steam plant and an adjacent industrial site.
The municipality received an updated rezoning application for 720 Beatty St. and 701 Expo Blvd. in March.
Atop both redevelopments, there will be a terrace with greenspace, with enough room for a running track on top of the upgraded steam plant building – which itself delivers hot water and heating to more than 200 buildings in the downtown peninsula.
Westbank first acquired the natural-gas steam plant in 2013.
The ground floor of the new office tower will be bolstered with a five-metre passageway to provide pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists a connection to four new levels of underground parking and a connection to Expo Boulevard and Beatty Street.
The adjacent entertainment pavilion will provide 30,236 square feet of commercial space with a karaoke spot, virtual reality sports hub, sports bar, and brewery already in the plans.
Nearby homeowner Helene Perndl expressed her support for the new infrastructure.
“The current building on this block is a big eyesore and I think this will be a huge improvement,” she submitted to council in favour of Westbank's proposal.
“I'm happy to see that big investment in office buildings like this are still going ahead even during the pandemic.”
The project will bolster the southwestern corner of BC Place ticket holders of concerts and sports games with more entertainment and dining options in the downtown area.
Initial construction of the now-approved project – which is estimated to generate approximately 2,000 off-site and on-site jobs – is being financed by Allied Properties Real Investment Trust for $185 million.
“The project will not only contribute to increasing job space and to advancing the city’s economic development objectives but also help to achieve the regional entertainment district envisioned under the Northeast False Creek Plan,” detailed city staff in a report to council.
The rezoning will generate nearly $13 million in development cost levies, $4.7-million in community amenities, and more than $1 million in public art for the municipality.