New Gastown rental apartments planned for West Hastings

Holborn to develop new rental apartment building; social housing building planned for long-vacant across the street

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Rendering of new rental apartments in Gastown
Exterior rendering of a new rental apartment building in Gastown next to the Woodwards development. The developer is Holborn.

A surface parking lot in Gastown across from the Woodwards development will soon be home to 132 new apartment rentals.

Holborn has applied to the city to develop a new 10 storey rental apartment building at 95 West Hastings Street at Abbott Street.

The new building will be made up of mostly studio units measuring 344 square feet, as well as four one bedroom units and 45 two bedroom units. However, the two bedroom units are quite small, measuring around 700 square feet.

Small studio apartment 344 square feet
In what could be a trend for new rental units in downtown Vancouver, most of the suites are studio apartments or micro suites measuring 344 square feet.

There will also be 74 parking spaces and 167 bicycle parking spaces. Retail units will make up the ground floor of the development.

The architect, Gair Williamson Architects, says the building was designed to complement its neighbours, the historic Woodwards building and the adjacent Paris Block and Metropole Hotel.

Rendering of new rental apartment building in Gastown
Exterior rendering of a new rental apartment building in Gastown next to the Woodwards development. The developer is Holborn.

The facade design of the building will be distinguished by deep 14 inch punched windows in a metal skin of silver, grey and zinc colour, with multi-paned glazing to reflect the historic character of the precinct.

Interestingly, the east wall of the building will be free of decoration until it is covered by a future development at 55 West Hastings — the current site of the Model Express shoe store. The existing Paris Block mural may be lit at night from the east wall of the new development. It’s not known of Holborn also owns the property at 55 West Hastings.

Across the street at the former site of a homeless encampment this past fall, the Chinatown Foundation is planning to develop a new 10 storey building with seven floors of social housing, three floors of medical office space for Vancouver Coastal Health and retail. A formal proposal has not yet been submitted to the city, but the group behind the proposal held an open house on December 15, 2016.

58 West Hastings Street
The former site of a homeless camp this past Fall will be redeveloped into a 10 storey building with social housing, retail space and medical office space.