A local developer, Bonnis Properties, is hoping to transform the entire 800-block on Granville Street’s east-side.
This block includes some historic landmarks including the Commodore Ballroom, Commodore Lanes, and the Orpheum Theatre.
The pre-application to rezone the area was completed earlier this year, and it looks like the project has finally progressed to the official application process.
What Will Be Changed
The goal of the developers is to preserve the city’s past while also building for the future.
Bonnis properties is a family-owned business, and Kerry Bonnis, who runs it with his brother Dino, said that they are very much interested in preserving the city’s best music venue and one of its last bowling alleys. They recall having fond memories there themselves.
The Lanes downstairs, Bonnis said, “absolutely will stay as a bowling alley.”
The Granville Street development would encompass almost the entire block, the 800 block to be exact, and building a sort of “bridge” over the Commodore.
The design is a very distinct terraced building with a slope, from 16 storeys on the near Robson Street down to nine storeys to above the Orpheum. It has a futuristic appeal to it, however there are elements of the interface that are preserved, allowing for the historical look to come through also.
“We recognize what an institution the Commodore is, and the building needs to be protected inside and out. We don’t plan to alter the original design of the Commodore, so we came up with an idea to build on either side of it and bridge over it,” said Bonnis.
What Granville Street May Look Like
A Long Time In the Planning
Bonnis properties has been acquiring other sites along the Granville street corridor ever since 2000, and now owns most of the block.
If their plans to rebuild it are approved, the building will be 260 ft (79 metres). The upper floors has a total office area of 420,399 sq ft, accommodating about 4,000 workers. Where the bottom floors will still be focused on culture, entertainment and retail spaces. In addition to that, there would be a new 300-person performance hall built, and expanded and upgraded house operations, this would aid both the Commodore and the Orpheum.
When Will This Take Place?
The project team is now in the formal application stage, with an eye to securing council approval as soon as possible — ideally this year. They are also planning to conduct further public consultation in the next few months.
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