Massive 524-foot-tall office tower proposed for downtown Vancouver

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Image: Oxford Properties

A supersized proposal to build a 524-foot (160-metre) tall office tower in downtown Vancouver’s Central Business District would be one of the largest office tower developments in Vancouver in decades.

A rezoning application submitted to the City indicates that Oxford Properties intends to construct a 33-storey, 658,687 square foot office tower at 1133 Melville Street, a large site between Bute and Thurlow streets currently occupied by a 7-storey parkade. It will have a floor space ratio (FSR) of 22.65 and be the tallest office tower in the city.

The tower’s floor area eclipses major office towers in the area including the 583,000-square-foot Bentall 5 office tower and 596,000-square-foot Park Place, which are both 459 feet (140 metres) in height.

Retail and restaurant space in 1133 Melville Street will be located at the base of the tower and underground levels will be purposed for a 287 stall parkade.

New York City-based Kohn Pederson Fox, which also designed Oxford’s nearby MNP Tower, is responsible for the design of the project.

“The tower consists of multiple volumes,” reads the application. “A step creates green terraces and demarcates volumes. A diagonal cut through the building reduces the shadow impact and creates an iconic crown to cap the tower.”

A LEED Platinum environmental certification will be pursued using features such as solar shading, advanced heating and cooling systems, rain management and storm water systems, and a zero waste management plan.

As the project falls within the Central Business District, the proposal will be considered under the City’s General Policy for Higher Buildings – a policy that allows taller buildings outside of the protected view cones as a way of fostering economic and job growth in the core of the city centre.

The development site permits a tower of up to 550 feet (168 metres), but Oxford has not pursued the maximum permissible height.

In addition to 1133 Melville Street’s verticality, it will boast mainly 20,000 square foot office plates, which will be some of the largest office floor plates in the city designed for major tenants.

2015 has been a record year for office development completions, which includes the Telus Garden office tower (22 storeys, 530,000 square feet), 745 Thurlow Street (24 storeys, 400,000 square feet), MNP Tower (35 storeys, 270,000 square feet), Manulife Building (16 storeys, 250,000 square feet), 725 Granville Street at Pacific Centre/Nordstrom (top 4 floors, 280,000 square feet), Aquilini Tower (lower 10 floors, 180,000 square feet) and the Marine Gateway office tower (14 storeys, 228,000 square feet).

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

1133 melville street vancouver 7

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

Image: Oxford Properties

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Kenneth Chan Deputy Editor & Social Media Manager at Vancity Buzz. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation, infrastructure, and anything else that makes a difference in the lives of Vancouverites. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]vancitybuzz.com
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