Milestone Vancouver office building on the drawing board

With so much new development underway and on the drawing board for downtown Vancouver, it is understandable at least one building may have gone largely unnoticed.

West Pender ElevationBentall Kennedy’s proposed 31-storey office tower at the corner of West Pender and Thurlow Street would become the cornerstone building on a block that already has the first four Bentall towers making up the Bentall Centre. (The image is taken from the Bentall Kennedy rezoning application.)

Completion of 1090 West Pender would be an architectural milestone for Vancouver and Bentall Kennedy as well as contributing a significant amount of space to the local office market.

Prime location

For the moment at least, Bentall Kennedy’s development site already has a 12-storey renovated office that was built in 1970.  It also has an above grade parking structure, which serves both the building and the neighbouring office development at 1050 West Pender. 

The site is a block from Burrard Street, the major north-south office commercial artery in downtown Vancouver.

The new Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership-designed structure would incorporate 400,000 square feet of office space, an amenity area and retail enclosed in a two-storey podium.  The building will have seven levels of underground parking and the developers are seeking LEED Gold certification.

Bentall Kennedy filed preliminary drawings and a rezoning application to the City of Vancouver in December. It is winding its way through the municipal planning process, having received support from the Urban Design Panel committee in February.

An update about the working drawings for the building and a constructions schedule is expected in the fall, according to a notice on the Journal of Commerce website.

The development site and the proposed new office tower are not listed on the Bentall Kennedy website. The office building on the site still has space available for lease, but it could be demolished later in 2014 to make way for construction on the new building if municipal approvals are received. 

The CBRE Canadian Market Outlook released earlier this year projected that Vancouver’s office vacancy rate would rise to seven per cent in 2014 from 6.1% last year, a trend expected to continue into 2015.

Seven major construction projects

There are currently seven major buildings under construction in downtown Vancouver.

One of the most significant is the $200-million, 31-storey Credit Suisse office tower, which will have 369,000 sq. ft. of space.

The other six office towers under construction are Telus Garden (448,000 sq. ft.); 745 Thurlow (400,000 sq. ft); 980 Howe (250,000 sq. ft.); the MNP Tower (270,000 sq. ft.); 725 Granville (300,000 sq. ft.); and Aquilini’s Arena property comprised of three towers (180,000 sq. ft.), according to the Vancouver Sun.

Bentall Kennedy is also the developer behind 745 Thurlow, a triple-A office tower aiming for a LEED Gold standard. The building is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2015.

The seven towers under construction will total 2.18 million sq. ft. of office space, according to the Vancouver Sun, which noted the city’s current vacancy rate for class-A office space is 5.3 per cent.

Bentall Kennedy

Bentall Kennedy is one of North America’s largest real estate investment advisors and provider of real estate services. The company looks after the interests of more than 500 clients and 145-million sq. ft. of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties worth more than $30 billion throughout Canada and the United States.

Its senior management, the California Public Employee Retirement System and the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, two of North America’s largest institutional investors, privately owns Bentall Kennedy.

The company has more than 1,300 employees at 13 offices across Canada and in key U.S. markets.  



A multiple award-winning reporter, writer and editor for more than 25 years, Charles Mandel most recently worked as the National Observer's climate change reporter. He is a former Atlantic correspondent…

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A multiple award-winning reporter, writer and editor for more than 25 years, Charles Mandel most recently worked as the National Observer's climate change reporter. He is a former Atlantic correspondent…

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