JOANNE LEE-YOUNG (VANCOUVER SUN) - Concord Pacific is floating new renderings and details of its plans to redevelop the former Molson Coors brewery site in Vancouver, a large 7.6-acre site located between the Burrard Bridge and Granville Island.
It’s a prime piece of land that epitomized the height of the real estate boom when it was sold in 2016, but it sits in limbo, partly, because it’s zoned for industrial use.
A new online marketing brochure, now locked by password, shows Concord is eyeing a massive redevelopment with some 1.8 million-square-feet that will include 300,000-sq. ft of mixed and residential use with office, retail, restaurant and showroom spaces, plus some 3,000 residential units.
A promotional video, posted by the company in June to highlight its developments across Canada and around the world, referred to the property and showed a rendering of it as an upcoming project named Quantum Park.
The new renderings show condo towers from 15 to 25 storeys, connected by multi-storey podiums and a skybridge, as well as two glass atriums that will be shaped like wormholes, which are a quantum theory structure.
Reached for comment about the renderings, Concord said it would be issuing a statement.
Concord bought the former Molson Coors Brewery site for $164.8 million in a deal that closed in March 2016, according to land documents.
At the time, the property, which sits on two lots at 1550 Burrard St. and 1655 West 1st Avenue, was assessed at only $49 million.
The lots are currently assessed at $223 million, but, of course, would be worth exponentially more if they were rezoned by the City of Vancouver to allow for Concord’s plans.
Concord owns other large, prime sites where the sale price paid at the time builds in a hope or calculation that the city will approve rezoning to justify the cost beyond what the current zoning allows.
It bought the Westin Bayshore site in Coal Harbour next to Stanley Park in 2015for around $290 million.
In August, Concord paid around$1 billion for the St. Paul’s Hospital site on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. Vice-president Peter Webb said the current zoning allows for about 1.9 million- sq. ft of residential density and commercial development.
Concord executives have long said the goal at the old Molson site is to eventually build a mixed-use, residential community with some tech office spaces even though the property is zoned M-2 industrial.
Since early 2019, there has been a city-wide review of industrial land to look at how the economy and employment opportunities are impacted by zoning. It’s expected to continue into 2021-2022.
Matt Meehan, a senior vice-president of development at Concord Pacific, said in the past that “our site is not open for putting rezoning applications until they finish that report.”
An external advisory group for this review last met in July 2020. A breakout session that examined industrial spaces tabled the importance of protecting industrial land, but also said there “should be a focus on how the industrial sector can work with the tech sector.”
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