On November 23 last year, the City of Vancouver’s development permit board approved an application by Reliance Properties to redevelop a Yaletown heritage property.
The plan involves adding four new storeys to the Anglo-Canadian Warehouse Company Building at 835 - 837 Beatty Street.
The plan also includes the rehabilitation of the 1911-era brick building near the Terry Fox Plaza downtown.
One of the conditions for the issuance of a development permit is approval by city council of a bylaw designating the structure and exterior as a protected heritage property.
Jason Olinek, assistant director of planning with the city, has prepared a report for council regarding such designation.
“This will secure the Heritage Building from demolition and unsympathetic exterior alterations that may affect its heritage value,” Olinek wrote in his report.
The report is included in the public hearing agenda of council on September 21.
Olinek explained that the two-storey commercial warehouse building is “valued for its connection to the development of the historic Yaletown district in the early twentieth century, and for its longstanding warehouse and commercial uses”.
“It is further valued for its association with the San Francisco-based architectural firm of Wright, Rushforth, and Cahill, designers of numerous similar buildings in the vicinity,” the city planner related.
Its character-defining elements include “brick pilasters and lintels, and banks of wooden-sash, multi-pane windows, among others”.
“Together with 849 and 869 Beatty Street, and 101 Smithe Street, the building forms a part of a unique industrial heritage streetscape; a cluster that is reinforced by the existing heritage buildings on the opposite side of the block, fronting Cambie Street,” Olinek stated.
Furthermore, “The Canadian Pacific Railway serviced these warehouses by way of a spur line that extended into the rear lane, and provided for loading and unloading of goods for storage and distribution throughout the region.”
Olinek went to recall that these “spur lines, though long removed, became the definitive influence on urban form in the historic Yaletown district”.
“The Anglo-Canadian Warehouse Company remained at 837 Beatty Street until the 1930s, followed by building occupants that included transfer companies, manufacturers’ agents, and food distributors,” the city planner wrote.
Reliance Properties plans to use the ground and lower levels for retail, levels two to five for office use, and the rooftop for amenity space.