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First sign of Broadway subway demolition

November 29, 2019

The plexiglass facing of the “RBC Royal Bank” signage at 1489 West Broadway coming down at 10:30 a.m.

After working its entire life for the Royal Bank of Canada, the 62-year-old office building at 1489 West Broadway was officially retired on Friday (November 29), when its signage was unceremoniously removed.

The removal could be seen as the first modest step in the demolition of the old four-storey building on the northeast corner of West Broadway Avenue and South Granville Street. It is already understood that 1489 West Broadway—together with the next door land of 1465 West Broadway—will be redeveloped, beginning in 2020.

A development application (DP-2019-00704) encompassing both addresses was submitted to the City of Vancouver on October 1 by PCI Developments.

Taking away the lightbox sign reveals evidence of an even earlier Royal Bank sign.

PCI’s blueprints show a five-storey tower, as allowed by the current C-3A
zoning. According to the Vancouver Courier, residential storeys may be added if the city’s Broadway Plan (expected December 2020) significantly increases the allowable density.

As of now, the upper four of five storeys are slated to be office space. The ground floor will consist of retail space on the West Broadway side and the Granville entrance to the Broadway subway on the southwest corner. The South Granville side of the ground floor will be given over to the returning RBC bank branch.

In the meantime RBC is opening a branch at 2735 Granville Street, effective 12 p.m., Monday , December 2.

PCI’s development application for 1465-1489 West Broadway is scheduled to go before the city’s Development Permit Board on December 9, at a meeting open to the public, beginning 3 p.m., in Vancouver City Hall’s Town Hall Meeting Room.

Lousy Christmas present for RBC’s three neighbours

Closeup of traces of the signage in the style of the logo that the Royal Bank used from 1974 to 2001.

While several development application notices went up on 1489 West Broadway  October 10 and it has now been shut down as an operational bank, nothing so overt appears to have happened to its next door neighbour and partner in redevelopment.

But appearances are deceiving. While many Vancouverites’ thoughts are turning toward the Christmas holidays, the three restaurant tenants of 1465 West Broadway will be thinking less of Santa Clause than of the demolition clause in each of their leases.

On November 1, the Memphis Blues Barbecue House—an 18 year tenant of 1465 West Broadway—reportedly received official notice that its lease was being terminated and that (thanks to the demolition clause of their lease) the restaurant had to be out in 90 day.

Neither of the other two tenants: Breakfast Table, or Fortune Garden, has acknowledged that their leases have similarly been terminated but it is a good bet that they have and that all three restaurants will be scrambling to be out of the doomed building by the last week of January. Click the images to enlarge them.

6 Comments
  1. Sharon Townsend permalink

    The changes that are coming are dramatic and swift. Any effort to retain some of the South Granville charm and sense of history is likely futile. Makes me sad.

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  2. Sharon, if you want to really get depressed check out a web site “changing Vancouver” . To see side by side photos of then and now is enough to make you cry.

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    • Sharon Townsend permalink

      my family has lived in Vancouver since about 1915. ‘Changes’ has been part of our family dinner conversation for decades. Indeed, that is a great website. I have been following their progress for several years. A true labour of love.

      Like

  3. Slowcrow permalink

    I enjoy “13′” contributions! And regarding sheltering cold people…… You can still find info on the THRS homeless shelter of a decade ago!! It’s on shadow lines trucking site! I think you can still download the extensive PDF that even shows how to set up a “community”. It was WAY ahead of its time and chased out of town!! And it conflicted with the grand opening of The Gateway of Hope, in Langley…… A Sally Ann ‘effort’, with guvmint monies, that was to solve all the problems…… Ah, how naive we were……

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  4. Thanks Slowcrow but if anything I write has any value it is because of Stanleys incredibly well written blog. It is interesting and well researched. Its topics are very close to our hearts. He spurs my fading memories of Vancouver. Born 1953 and raised in Vancouver. My parents lived in the West End before I was born and we lived on Nelson, Bidwell, Barclay, Pendrell Davie. I attended a school on the corner of Broughton and Davie. A 4 room school that went from grade 1 to grade 12. We moved from the West End to Kits in 1970. I love this city, I miss “the good old days” . A blog like Stanleys gives a very interesting and slightly different point of view than others.

    Like

    • Thank you. I’ve lived in Vancouver longer than anywhere else by a long chalk. For all my fond memories of Vancouver in the 1980s, to a good bit of it I say good riddance. I recognize that t tear-down, build-up

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