Developers set out to remake 1500 block of West Georgia in Vancouver

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      The western section of West Georgia Street is shaping up as one of the city's hottest real-estate plays.

      On Thursday (February 4), Bosa Properties and Kingswood Properties will host an open house for German starchitect Ole Scheeren's imaginative design at 1500 West Georgia Street.

      The open house takes place at the Empire Landmark Hotel (1400 Robson Street) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

      Like the new Telus Garden, the proposed design includes cantilevers that extend from the building. The developers have not yet filed a rezoning application.

      Cantilevers extend out from the proposed building.
      Buro Ole Scheeren

      Business in Vancouver's Glen Korstrom recently reported that the project has been scaled back from 50 to 43 storeys because of the city's concerns over view cones.

      Vancouver has never seen a building that looks like this.
      Buro Ole Scheeren

      In the meantime, city council is also expected to vote on Tuesday (February 2) to refer an application in the same block by Henriquez Partners Architects to a public hearing.

      Arpeg Holdings Ltd. would like to rezone its site at 1575-1577 West Georgia Street and 620 Cardero Street to permit a 26-storey mixed-use development.

      Rendering of the Henriquez building looking east.
      City of Vancouver

      It would include 175 market strata units, retail, and office space. This building, too, has been scaled back in response to worries about heights.

      "The site is located in a transitional area along West Georgia Street, a key ceremonial street, and also serves as part of a 'gateway' to downtown Vancouver approaching from Stanley Park," a city staff report states.

      Another rendering of the Henriquez building.
      City of Vancouver

      The nearby area includes the 22-storey Bayshore Tower, the 19-storey Jewel Bayshore, the 26-storey Bayshore Outlook, the 25-storey Bayshore Gardens and Performing Arts Lodge, the 37-storey West Pender Place, the 33-storey Palais Georgia, and the 20-storey Crown Life Plaza office building.

      Once upon a time, the western part of downtown Vancouver more or less ended at the northwest corner of West Georgia Street and Thurlow Street, which is home to Arthur Erickson's 27-storey MacMillan Bloedel Building. This concrete structure, which has been nicknamed the "waffle iron" by some, is at 1075 West Georgia Street.

      But in the early 1990s, the downtown core extended westward with the opening of the 24-storey FortisBC Centre (previously known as the B.C. Gas Building and then the Terasen Centre) at 1111 West Georgia Street.

      That was eclipsed in 2008 by the 62-storey Living Shangri-La, which is at 1128 West Georgia. At the time, it was the city's tallest building.

      More recently, the 63-storey Trump International Hotel and Tower was approved at 1133 West Georgia Street. It's expected to open later this year.

      More recently, a proposal came forward for a 44-storey building in the 1400 block of West Georgia on the site of the former Buschlen Mowatt Gallery.

      The 1600 block of West Georgia Street is home to the White Spot Cardero and the Stanley Park Chevron gas station. For now, at least, there are no rezoning applications filed for either of these properties.

      However, there is an application for a 43-storey building not far away at 1550 Alberni Street.

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