Flagship Hudson’s Bay Store in Downtown Vancouver to be transformed into Reimagined Office, Retail and Transportation Hub | Vancouver

Flagship Hudson’s Bay Store in Downtown Vancouver to be transformed into Reimagined Office, Retail and Transportation Hub

February 23, 2022

Adding one million square foot office tower to downtown store will triple floor space and accommodate 5,000 workers in bid to attract major tech sector tenants

VANCOUVER, B.C. (February 23, 2022): Partners Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and RioCan Real Estate Trust (TSX: REI.UN) have unveiled a forward-looking redevelopment plan for the downtown Vancouver Hudson’s Bay building. Under the proposal, the century-old heritage exterior of the Bay Building will be retained, while introducing a one million square foot office tower, a newly reimagined retail space and a new Green Mobility transportation hub at the core of the city’s central business district. The Hudson’s Bay retail store will remain in downtown Vancouver as part of the new mixed-used redevelopment.

The building at 674 Granville Street rests on the traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. The Partners are committed to working with local First Nations for their direct involvement in the project and to share in the community benefits that will flow from such a major development.

“The way consumers live, work and shop is changing rapidly and HBC is committed to evolving to reflect these shifts, while unleashing the full value of our prime properties and reinvigorating the urban districts in which they are situated,” said Ian Putnam, President and CEO, HBC Properties and Investments. “HBCPI is excited and looking forward to unlocking the value and full potential of our flagship Vancouver building, and our entire joint venture portfolio with RioCan.

“Transformation of the iconic property meets evolving consumer and office user expectations. This highly attractive site located at the nexus of Vancouver’s major transit, bike and traffic routes in the heart of downtown Vancouver will be revitalized and expanded with resilient and forward-thinking amenities that will drive value creation for the long-term.”

Streetworks Development, the real estate development arm of HBC Properties and Investments, is leading the revitalization of the Bay Building as well as a variety of HBC’s other real estate assets. “This project represents the next chapter in HBC’s retail history and its continued commitment to Vancouver,” said Richard Hamori, COO, Streetworks Development. “We intend to honour the heritage of our flagship building, as well as that of historic Granville Street, while expressing our confidence in the future of Vancouver’s downtown.”

Doug Adams, Senior Vice President of Development, Streetworks Development said, “Redeveloping the Bay Building is another step toward our goal of maximizing the value of HBC’s portfolio of downtown properties throughout North America, while diversifying our holdings to a mix of retail, residential and office space.  Upon completion, the retail space at Granville and Georgia will be reconfigured to create a new and exciting retail experience and allow additional retail businesses to locate at this key location along with Hudson’s Bay.”

Total retail space in the Bay Building will be about 350,000 square feet. A new 12-storey tower will be built above the existing store, providing one million square feet of new office space capable of accommodating 5,000 new employees in Vancouver’s central business district. With large floorplates of up to 61,000 square feet, the scale and efficiency of this development is typical of the kind of office space sought by large tech sector tenants. A rooftop garden and internal multi-level atriums are also planned for use by tenants in the new building.

The project will benefit from the store’s pre-existing, strong pedestrian traffic flows to and from TransLink’s Granville SkyTrain station and the heavily-used major bus stops right outside the store.

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 able to store up to 1,500 bicycles, and new public pedestrian walkways will provide covered access linking the Bay Building, its new office space, surrounding business, and shopping areas downtown.

The building is listed in the Vancouver Heritage Register and features a century-old terra cotta exterior which will be preserved in respect of the importance the Bay Building has held in the history and development of downtown Vancouver.

“As we evolve and reimagine the retail element of this project, we look at everything through a customer-first lens,” said Wayne Drummond, President and CEO of Hudson’s Bay. “We are creating a shopping experience that promotes discovery in our store, and excites visitors with modern, relevant and inclusive product and services. This newly-developed space will deliver an environment that will take the Hudson’s Bay shopping experience to the next level.”

Redevelopment plans for the Bay Building were announced today to inform local residents in advance of Streetworks Development’s application for rezoning and a Heritage Revitalization Agreement to be submitted in coming weeks to the City of Vancouver. Processing this application may take up to a year, or more, and will include public engagement opportunities hosted by the city. Once this is approved, an application will be submitted for a development permit and subsequent building permit, with construction potentially starting as early as 2024. More information available at vancouver.thebaybuilding.ca.

About HBC

HBC is a holding company of investments and businesses at the intersection of technology, retail operations and real estate.

It is the majority owner of iconic ecommerce companies: Saks, a leading online destination for luxury fashion, and Saks OFF 5TH, a premier luxury off-price ecommerce company offering top brands at the best prices. Both businesses were established as separate operating companies in 2021.

HBC also wholly owns The Bay, a Canadian ecommerce marketplace and Hudson’s Bay, the operating company for Hudson’s Bay’s brick-and-mortar stores, as well as SFA, the entity that operates Saks Fifth Avenue’s physical locations, and O5, the operating company for Saks OFF 5TH stores.

With assets spanning top markets and prime locations across North America, HBC owns or controls—either entirely or with joint venture partners—approximately 40 million square feet of gross leasable area. HBC Properties and Investments, the company’s real estate and investments portfolio business, manages these assets along with additional real estate offerings, including Streetworks Development, its property development division.

Founded in 1670, HBC is North America’s longest continually operating company and is headquartered in New York and Toronto. For more information visit: www.hbc.com.


Trevor Pancoust