The southwest corner of the intersection of Main Street and Cordova Street in the Downtown Eastside is expected to undergo a drastic mixed-use transformation.
Happy Harvest has submitted a development application to the City of Vancouver to redevelop 305 Main Street. This would replace several buildings, some more than a century old, as well as the historic Imperial Theater, which would be replaced by a new, smaller hall on site. The name of the project is simply “MAC”, a nod to the names of the two cross streets of the property.
The site is directly across from the former Vancouver Police Headquarters, now the Center for Social and Economic Innovation.
Designed by MA + HG Architects, the proposal calls for a solid timber building 128 feet high and 11 stories, with the first two floors for non-residential use constructed of concrete, providing a base for the residential levels above.
Similar to other solid timber buildings, the hybrid design also uses concrete for its stair and elevator cores and a steel support for the cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction. Earlier this year, the provincial government awarded Happy Harvest a grant of $ 475,000 to advance its designs for the MAC as part of the British Columbia Mass Timber Demonstration Program.
Using solid wood, the residential units are uniquely configured as modules. There would be a total of 117 housing units, including 47 secure rental housing units and 70 social housing units.
Between the two tenancies, there would be a total mix of combined units of 63 micro-units, nine one-bedroom units, 36 two-bedroom units, and eight three-bedroom units.
The project will set aside 20 of the social housing micro-dwellings to replace the 20 existing single-occupancy dwellings in an existing building on the site. In addition, 23 micro-units of social housing will be rented at the housing rate.
For residents’ amenity spaces, the building’s L-shape offers a landscaped interior amenity courtyard facing the rooftop driveway on the second level. There would also be ample indoor and outdoor amenity space on the L-shaped roof.
Under the residential uses, two floors facing Cordova Street would be dedicated to 13,500 square foot learning space, while two floors facing Main Street would accommodate commercial and catering uses.
On the second level at the corner of the building with the intersection, a 2,600 square foot space would be dedicated as “an important cultural and musical space”, named New Harvest. It is a replacement of public equipment from the Imperial Theater, and the name honors the venue’s original name, Golden Harvest.
The existing theater was first built in 1974 during the heyday of Chinatown by the Hong Kong-based film production company Golden Harvest. The 750-seat theater screened the Hong Kong Cinema until it closed in 1981. The building remained unused until 2007, after undergoing a $ 2.5 million renovation in District 319 and then as a than Imperial Theater, with most of its seats being removed and replaced for a functional event. space out.
To recognize the former location of the theater, a large “Golden Harvest” sign in Chinese characters would be installed on the facade of Cordova Street.
Floor-to-ceiling sliding picture windows for the new cultural venue around the corner of the building potentially allow the music to spill over into the street events below. This space could even serve as a performance stage for the street viewing space below.
The building’s architecture is inspired by the historic maple grove that once existed in the area, with the colorful panels referencing the smooth lines of a canopy and a random window pattern that brings out the ‘organic’ growth of a forest.
In addition, solid wood materials could be displayed in the ceilings of all houses to showcase “the concept of the maple grove through its intrinsic warmth and the beauty of the CLT structure on display”.
Along the commercial frontage of Main Street, existing 25,000 ton wide lot lines were incorporated into the storefront design.
The total proposed floor area is 111,000 square feet, for a floor area to floor area ratio density that is seven times the lot size.
A single basement would contain six vehicle parking spaces and 213 bicycle parking spaces.
On the property halfway up immediately south at 327 Main Street, the Vancouver Native Housing Society is proposing to construct an eight-story solid timber social housing building containing 78 studios for Indigenous peoples.