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Streetworks plans to redevelop Hudson’s Bay store in downtown Vancouver

Iconic site spans nine floors at Georgia and Granville Streets in the heart of the city
Hudson’s Bay 636,828-square-foot store in Vancouver | Photo: Rob Kruyt

Streetworks, the real estate arm of Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC), says it will submit a rezoning application “in the next few weeks” for a proposed redevelopment of the iconic HBC flagship store in downtown Vancouver.

“The Hudson’s Bay building at 674 Granville Street embodies the rich historical, economic, social, and cultural stories of Vancouver. The site has seen many adaptations as it evolved with the times, and today we are exploring ways to reconfigure the Bay Building by engaging with local First Nations and other partners and communities," according to a company statement on February 14.

Public information meetings will be held in-person on February 23rd and 26th and virtually on February 24th, and an exhibit about the proposed redevelopment will be on display on the main floor of the Hudson’s Bay store from February 23rd to 27th inclusive.

The historic 636,828 square foot department store was built between 1913 and 1949. The current building spans nine storeys with six of those being above-ground floor plates of more than 70,000 square feet each. 

Due to the rezoning application, it is expected that any redevelopment would include a shrinking of the retail space, with other space reconfigured as offices, as happened during redevelopment of HBC’s stores in Montreal and Calgary, perhaps with a residential mix.

New York City-based Streetworks Development was formed in October of 2020 with the goal to “manage, maximize and enhance” the 40 million square feet of gross leasable space that HBC held across North America at the time.

According to HBC, the goal is creating multi-use spaces that feature “a range of services and experiences across the workplace, retail, residential and entertainment categories.”

The Hudson’s Bay store in downtown Vancouver is currently assessed at $221.1 million but is considered much more valuable. In 2018, a conditional agreement was signed with an offshore buyer to sell the historic site for $675 million, but the deal never completed.

When Streetworks was asked February 14 if the Vancouver redevelopment would include a residential component, and if a joint-venture was involved, a spokesman replied. “Details are to be announced next week.