Mixed-use housing and commercial development planned for the aging hospital property on Burrard Street, with sales proceed helping to fund replacement
Jeremy Hainsworth Glacier Media
August 12, 2020
The Burrard Street site of Vancouver’s 124-year-old St. Paul’s Hospital has been sold to development giant Concord Pacific Group for about $1 billion as work continues on a $1.9-billion False Creek Flats replacement facility.
“This is a very important property in Vancouver and we recognize that,” Concord Pacific senior vice president of development Peter Webb said of the land sold by St. Paul’s operator Providence Health Care (PHC).
The development will be mixed-use commercial and residential. What community amenities will be included remains to be seen.
The timing of any development work is contingent on the move to the new site but demolition could begin in several years. Webb said the company recognizes some of the site or facades have heritage values and could be retained.
Webb stressed building and then moving a hospital is a complex undertaking for PHC.
“It really depends on their schedule, not ours,” he said.
It also remains to be seen how high new structures at the site could go due to height restrictions determined by so-called city view cones, vice president David Ju said
There are no plans yet to go through those view cone heights.
How development moves forward will be in conjunction with government, the community and first nations groups, Webb said.
The prime, 6.6-acre site had a 2019 assessment of $702.37 million, down from 2018 $784 million in 2018, according to BC Assessment records. The decrease was due to a decline in the assessed land value. The buildings’ value remained steady at $100,225,000.
Concord Pacific has been involved in acquiring the land since 2019 with approval earlier this year. The deal closed at the end of July.
“We’re extremely pleased with this sale,” PHC president Fiona Dalton said. “It is a unique achievement in Canada that enables us to invest in BC’s health care system while minimizing the cost to taxpayers, and continues to build on our 126-year legacy of compassionate and innovative care, research and teaching.”
Concord Pacific is one the Lower Mainland’s biggest development companies. It redeveloped Vancouver’s old Expo 86 lands, changing the face of False Creek, and more recently Burnaby’s Brentwood Town Centre and Metrotown. Projects are also underway in Richmond and Surrey as well as in Calgary, Toronto and other cities.
The proceeds of the sale are earmarked as part of funding for the new hospital.
The state-of-the-art replacement project for the crumbling hospital, built in 1896, it should be open by 2026, Premier John Horgan said in February 2019.
Webb said if Concord Pacific achieves higher densities than expected for the development, it would increase revenue to PHC for the new hospital under terms of the sale agreement.
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