June 17, 2024 — Journal of Commerce

Mount Pleasant Building Scales New Heights Thanks To Zoning Change

By: Warren Frey

June 17, 2024

One of Vancouver’s oldest and trendiest areas is climbing to new heights, thanks to a zoning change.

Vancouver developer PC Urban Properties Corp. and Nicola Wealth Real Estate are launching a new industrial and office building in the city’s historic Mount Pleasant area.

A zoning change by the city allows for a six-storey building called the Foundation in an eight-block-by-eight-block area stretching from Cambie Street to Main Street.

It is part of the City of Vancouver’s decade-spanning Broadway plan to densify the area and take advantage of a massive transit infrastructure project going down the Broadway corridor.

“Over the last couple of years the City of Vancouver took steps to promote greater intensification along Broadway. With $4 billion in infrastructure investment, it makes sense to have people living along it,” PC Urban founder and principal Brent Sawchyn said, adding Mount Pleasant will soon have more transit access than downtown Vancouver.

The population of the area is currently around 28,000 people, he said, in a neighbourhood that’s “wonderfully activated” with a mix of living space, offices, light industrial, restaurants and breweries.

“It started as one of the first industrial areas in the city and then morphed into people living there actively. The environment of people living and working there is still happening today but it’s being refreshed and gentrified,” he said.

The six-storey project will have approximately 49,000 square feet of square. There is an expression of interest for one of the floors and “we’re working on an expression of interest for the main floor,” he said.

“The first two floors are industrial in flavour and the balance is office space. People would rather own their space than pay rent and the area is just so vibrant. Cool people like hanging out in Mount Pleasant,” he said.

Industrial refers to many businesses already in the area such as breweries, coffee roasters and e-bike builders, Sawchyn said, where there’s a mix of front-facing retail, manufacturing an warehousing product.

He added the six-storey height of the building leads to both natural lighting and unobstructed views to downtown Vancouver.

“The views are extraordinary with tons of light,” he said. “It looks right across Jonathan Rogers Park to downtown.”

PC Urban is working with Etro Construction and design firm MCM Architects, he added.

With a development permit approved, the company is “working through drawing and we’ll submit a building permit soon, with construction expected to begin in January 2025.”

The construction contract will be close to $33 million, he added, with total development costs approaching $60 million and a schedule forecasting a 21-month project.

It will also meet Vancouver’s STEP 3 and 4 standards and be built to conform to LEED Gold. Sawchyn added the Rick Hansen Foundation will evaluate the building to ensure accessibility.

PC Urban has also worked on other projects in the area including a heritage revitalization called The Lightworks Building, which was showcased in the City of Vancouver’s Broadway Plan as an example of how to implement mixed-use and employment space.

“We’ve got a good sense of the vibe of the Mount Pleasant market,” Sawchyn said.

“Since our first venture in Mount Pleasant in 2014, our partnership with PC Urban has consistently raised the bar. Projects like The Lightworks Building and The Nickel have solidified our track record of success,” Nicola Wealth vice-president Alex Messina said in a PC Urban release. “The Foundation builds on this legacy, reinforcing our strong partnership and vision for the future of this vibrant neighbourhood.”

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