This Futuristic Proposal Might Transform an Entire Block on Granville Street

granville street

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.

What Will Be Changed

granville street

Photo: Perkins and Will / Bonnis Properties

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, 800 blocks to be exact, and building a sort of “bridge” over the Commodore.

Above, the building would provide almost 400,000 square feet of offices, enough space for more than 2,500 workers, plus expanded cultural space.

The design is a very distinct terraced building with a slope, from 17 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

Granville street

Photo: Perkins and Will / Bonnis Properties

Granville street

Photo: Perkins and Will / Bonnis Properties

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, 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 hoping to submit a formal application within the next three months, with an eye to securing council approval as soon as possible — ideally this year.


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