Hudson's Bay downtown Vancouver site eyed for office tower

Rezoning application will soon go to Vancouver city hall for ambitious redevelopment plan of century-old Granville Street location

Iconic Hudson’s Bay store: rezoning sought for one-million-square-foot office tower and “next level” shopping centre | Rendering: Streetworks Development

Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) has partnered with Toronto-based RioCan Real Estate Trust in a bid to transform the iconic Hudson’s Bay building in downtown Vancouver into a mixed-use development that includes one million square feet of office space.

Streetworks Development, the real estate development arm of HBC Properties and Investments, is leading the revitalization of the Bay Building as well as a variety of HBC’s other real estate assets across North America.

The century-old HBC outlet in Vancouver is located smack dab in the heart of the city’s downtown at 674 Granville Street at the corner of West Georgia Street.

“This project represents the next chapter in HBC’s retail history and its continued commitment to Vancouver,” said Richard Hamori, COO, Streetworks Development. “We intend to honour the heritage of our flagship building, as well as that of historic Granville Street, while expressing our confidence in the future of Vancouver’s downtown.”

The proposed makeover includes reconfiguring the existing retail space into about 350,000 square feet of “next level” shopping and will allow other retailers to lease space in the complex, according to Doug Adams, senior vice president of development, Streetworks.

A new 12-storey tower will be built above the existing six-floor store, providing one million square feet of new office space. With large floorplates of up to 61,000 square feet, the aim is to attract large tech sector tenants, Adams added.

A rooftop garden and internal multi-level atriums are also planned for use by tenants in the new building.

The reconfiguration includes improved access from the building to the Granville SkyTrain station, the Vancouver-City Centre Canada Line station, local bus routes, a new underground indoor bike hub able to store up to 1,500 bicycles, and new public pedestrian walkways that will provide covered access linking the Bay complex and shopping areas downtown.

The developers are expected to apply for Vancouver rezoning in the next week, a spokesman said February 23.

Processing the rezoning application could take up to a year, or more, and will include public engagement. Once approved, an application will be submitted for a development permit and subsequent building permit, with construction potentially starting as early as 2024.