Watch the virtual information meeting
In February, we shared with the public our proposal for the Bay Building and our commitment to continuing engagement with First Nations–watch the recording here.
2022 – 2023
Where We Are Now
We are sharing this information with the public in person at the Hudson’s Bay downtown Vancouver store and through a virtual meeting. These public information meetings will present our proposal and commitment to continuing engagement with First Nations as we submit to the City of Vancouver our Application for Rezoning.
2023 – 2024
What Happens Next
The city’s consideration of the application will include a City of Vancouver public consultation to collect feedback. Provided the city approves our rezoning application, we will begin the application for a development permit and a subsequent building permit with the city. Our estimate places the start of construction in 2024.
We Welcome Your Participation
We have held in-person exhibits and virtual meetings to engage with the public and create an opportunity to view and provide feedback on the redevelopment plans. We also welcome your input through our survey and contact form on this site.
A reconfigured retail space will be enhanced by a new transit hub, with bicycle storage in the building’s lower floors. New public pedestrian walkways will provide covered access linking the Bay Building, its new office space, surrounding businesses, and downtown shopping areas. One arcade will link Granville and Seymour Streets mid-block, and provide access to the SkyTrain, retail, and office spaces.
HBC remains the owner of the Bay Building through HBC Properties and Investments, the in-house firm that manages the company’s real estate and investments portfolio.
Streetworks Development, an HBC company, is leading the redevelopment of HBC’s downtown Vancouver store.
Perkins & Will, an award-winning architecture firm with an office in Vancouver and a presence in cities on four continents, is creating the design for the new Bay Building.
This first introduction to the Bay Building redevelopment, hosted by HBC at the start of 2022, was created to inform the public of what we have planned prior to the developer’s formal application to the City of Vancouver for rezoning and a Heritage Revitalization Agreement, which will both require City Council approval. Once the city approves the rezoning, subsequent applications for a development permit and a building permit will be required.
The redevelopment of the Bay Building is governed by the City’s Downtown Official Community Plan, and the current proposal conforms with this policy.
The property is affected by several view cones. However, the proposal limits the building’s height in ways that respect all view cone rules and regulations.
We are in the very early stages and are about to submit a rezoning application to the City of Vancouver for rezoning and a Heritage Revitalization Agreement, which formally puts the plan before city planners.
Processing this application may take up to a year and will include public engagement opportunities hosted by the city.
Once this is approved, we will apply for a development permit and a subsequent building permit, with construction potentially starting as early as 2024. The construction work itself is expected to take three to four years from start to finish.
The Bay Building remains 100% in the hands of HBC. A negotiated agreement to sell the property was publicly announced in 2018, but the sale was not completed.
HBC is currently reviewing all its properties across North America with a view to redeveloping them and ensuring they are used to their fullest potential. HBC acquired Streetworks Development and its 40 years of experience to execute this effort.
In addition to the evolution of the Bay Building, this proposal may also serve to reinforce a proposed renaissance of Granville Street. The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) is leading a process to engage downtown stakeholders in a reimagination of Granville south of Robson Street. HBC would be pleased to work with the DVBIA to see the reimagining of Granville Street also move northward to activate the Granville and Georgia neighbourhood.
The existing heritage building extends to the property lines along Georgia, Granville, and Seymour Streets, and therefore improvements to the public realm along those streets may be minimal. HBC welcomes the opportunity to work with the City of Vancouver and the DVBIA on this aspect of the proposal.
The Bay Building’s downtown location is at the very hub of Vancouver’s transit, traffic, bicycle, and pedestrian routes. The reconfiguration includes improved access from the building to the Granville SkyTrain station, the Vancouver-City Centre Canada Line station, local bus routes, a new underground indoor bike hub with storage for up to 1,500 bicycles, and covered connecting walkways to facilitate and encourage pedestrian movement.
With upgrades to SkyTrain access and a bike hub being key components of our plan, we have already reached out to TransLink for collaboration and support. The Granville SkyTrain station has been directly connected to the current Hudson’s Bay store for decades, and the Canada Line is accessible through a below grade link. We’ll work closely with TransLink to establish synergies that will help us work together on encouraging green mobility for the future and maintain TransLink’s support for the redevelopment’s transportation goals.
No on-site car parking is planned. This project is looking to the future and focused on leveraging the building’s central location to create a green mobility hub and encourage the use of public transit, bikes, and personal electric transportation. The existing multilevel car parkade on Seymour Street will remain to provide parking for the retail store.
Yes. A safe, public, and active bike and transit hub for the downtown core will be established within the lower section of the building. Green mobility is at the forefront of the project, in keeping with the City of Vancouver’s desire to have developments reduce carbon pollution in response to climate change.
The project will meet the low emissions green buildings target of the City’s Green Buildings Policy for Rezoning targeting LEED Gold certification with a high-performance building envelope and many features to reduce water consumption. The building will be entirely electrified, with no on-site combustion, minimizing operational greenhouse gas emissions.
The construction of a large roof garden will be an opportunity to re-wild the site and fold it back into its surrounding ecosystem, helping biodiversity downtown and human connection to nature. No street trees are at risk, and we are proposing an enhanced landscaping plan at street level.
We acknowledge that the Hudson’s Bay building at 674 Granville Street rests on the traditional and unceded lands of the Xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations.
Outreach to these First Nations about the project has already begun with the intent of discussing their involvement and the benefit for them from the redevelopment. Specific details about what form this will take will emerge over time as discussions proceed between these First Nations and HBC.
For 352 years, HBC and Indigenous Peoples have made an often-imperfect journey together, but HBC is changing how we acknowledge and engage with Indigenous Peoples. We own our past—it cannot be changed, but we acknowledge today’s opportunity to move forward with humility and respect.
Approximately 1.4 million square feet of floor space will be available when the redevelopment of the building is complete—about 3.5 times the existing area.
About 1 million square feet of new office space will accommodate 5,000 workers. Another 400,000 square feet will be available for retail and commercial use.
Creating office space is critical for supporting Vancouver’s efforts to attract companies and jobs that will strengthen its local economy. Providing this level of office space may help facilitate the creation of a diversified global tech cluster by attracting anchor tech firms.
The addition of thousands of new workers in the neighbourhood will generate additional footfall on the surrounding streets of approximately 16,000 per day. People working in the building will spend approximately $50 million annually in the vicinity of the office, including $10 million on personal food and beverage consumption. This spending does not include corporate expenditures, which will also contribute to growing the local economy.
This spending by new office employees will also support the increased use of cultural, recreational, and entertainment facilities and businesses downtown, which is especially important in the efforts to reimagine the south end of Granville Street for the future.
The new retail development is expected to support 400 full time jobs at the redesigned Hudson’s Bay store and stimulate five million more visits to the Bay per annum. Attracting other retailers to locate with the Hudson’s Bay in this space will create further job activity.
HBC believes in the future of downtown Vancouver’s economy. It was strong pre-COVID, and we are confident it will continue to be strong post-COVID. This new opportunity will contribute to the long-term health of the economy through office job creation and by reimagining retail space for HBC.
Hudson’s Bay is committed to keeping its store at Georgia and Granville, and we will remain in the retail business at this location.