Posts Tagged ‘Flack Block’

Globe and Mail – Heritage projects suffer collateral damage in downturn

May 8th, 2009
Robert Fung has turned some of Vancouver’s worst eyesores into high-end housing. But the financing model he used to cover the added expense of saving the city’s grand old buildings has run into a brutal new reality.

Robert Fung has turned some of Vancouver’s worst eyesores into high-end housing. But the financing model he used to cover the added expense of saving the city’s grand old buildings has run into a brutal new reality.

Globe and Mail – Heritage projects suffer collateral damage in downturn

Kerry Gold
Special to The Globe and Mail
Friday, May. 15, 2009

Developer Robert Fung stands on Water Street in Vancouver’s Gastown, surveying a row of heritage buildings that comprise one of the city’s most beautiful streetscapes.

They represent some of the city’s oldest buildings, and each of them had been long neglected until Mr. Fung came along and restored them as work, retail and condo spaces.

“He’s the poster child of heritage,” says Heritage Vancouver president Don Luxton.

But with the downturn in British Columbia’s property markets, Mr. Fung now sees himself tied to a complex financing model that no longer works.

The Alhambra building, circa 1887, anchors Water Street, the most historic block in the city. It is part of Mr. Fung’s $60-million, three-phase, five-building project that involves “a high level of heritage restoration.” The condo building Terminus, once on Heritage Vancouver’s Top Ten Endangered Sites list, is the first phase. The heritage building, with its sleek, uniquely modern interior, is finished and mostly occupied. The Garage condos next door, once the location for the city’s first jailhouse, will be complete by November.

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Flack Block: New Life on Hastings Street

April 26th, 2009
Artisans in the Canadian workshop of Architectural Stone Masonry work on aspects of the re-created entry for Vancouver’s Flack Block. “It was all done by hand,” ASM founder Tony Rogac says. “No machine touched any of that stone.” The detail shows the careful hammer-and-chisel technique needed to produce an intricate, finely detailed ornamental piece.

Artisans in the Canadian workshop of Architectural Stone Masonry work on aspects of the re-created entry for Vancouver’s Flack Block. “It was all done by hand,” ASM founder Tony Rogac says. “No machine touched any of that stone.” The detail shows the careful hammer-and-chisel technique needed to produce an intricate, finely detailed ornamental piece.

Traditional Building magazine recently had an article about the building of The Flack Block’s hand-carved limestone archway. Construction has recently finished on the building, and the archway has been completed for some time, but we thought we’d share this feature with those of you who wanted to know more about the creation of the archway, and the local stone carvers still practicing this craft.

You can see the full article here.


GlobalTV video: The Flack Block

April 8th, 2009

globaltv-flackblock

The Flack Block was featured on Global TV yesterday (April 7). There is a lot of interest in the positive change community health that neighbourhood heritage rehabilitation can bring. We’re pretty excited about it.

You can see the video here. (edit: video is no longer live on the GlobalTV website)

The Flack Block also has it’s own Facebook group, and you can find it here. Lots of new photos added to the group, including beautiful detail photos of the hand-carved limestone archway can be seen in the gallery.


re:place Magazine: Flack Block celebrates its opening with City of Vancouver Heritage Award of Honour, and new innovative tenants

April 6th, 2009

re-place-magazine

Vancouver urban design magazine, re:place has published a story about the opening of the Flack Block. Below is their story. I encourage you to take a few moments to look at their website – lots of Vancouver history (in ‘5 minute’ segments) and green content as well.

After two years of restoration by The Salient Group, and an intensive period of tenant space renovation by Renewal Partners, the 1898 Flack Block recently celebrated its official re-opening. The Flack Block is the new home to theTides/Renewal Centre, a collection of socially progressive businesses including Renewal PartnersTides CanadaHollyhock Leadership InstituteForest EthicsRainforest Solutions ProjectPenner & Associates sustainable design, and Raised Eyebrow Communications, among others.

Under the leadership and commitment of Renewal Partners, the Tides/Renewal centre office renovation in the Flack Block will achieve a LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors certification from the Canada Green Building Council. This designation is among the first in Canada in a heritage building that will be made available to lease.

You can see the rest of the story here:


24 hours video: The Flack Block – Heritage Love

April 3rd, 2009

The heritage landmark, The Flack Block, reopens its doors to socially progressive businesses. This video accompanies yesterday’s 24 hours news story about the need to retain our heritage buildings. 

Robert speaks about the newly reopened Flack Block building, showing off some of the great features including the magnificent hand-carved entry archway, some of the challenges of working on a heritage building, and touching on some of the historic elements of the building from it’s gold rush days.


24hours: The Flack Block – Heritage Crucial To City

April 2nd, 2009
PRESERVING THE PAST is crucial in maintaining the identity of Vancouver, according to Robert Fung.

PRESERVING THE PAST is crucial in maintaining the identity of Vancouver, according to Robert Fung.

Salient Group says: Heritage crucial to city
Dharm Makwana, 24 Hours

Should Vancouver lose its architectural past, its cultural identity may fall soon after, according to a real estate developer keen on restoring the city’s historical streetscape. 

Robert Fung, president of The Salient Group, noted that,without federal and municipal funding for heritage restoration, projects such as the Flack Block – which re-opened yesterday at 163 West Hastings Street – could never have been realized. 

“I believe that the incentive program catalyzed investment of the area that exceeds the return of any of the levels of government funding into this area over the last number of years,” Fung said. “Pouring it into social services is not unneeded but it doesn’t help build the economy… in fact it’s desperately needed – but it was also not creating balance in the neighbourhood.” 

The City of Vancouver is reviewing its heritage revitalization incentive program. Its federal counterpart has been cancelled. 

The Flack Block is being celebrated as one of the first heritage buildings in North America set to achieve LEED Gold certification from the Canada Green Building Council.

 

You can read the original story here, or download a PDF of the article here. (1.2MB Acrobat file)


Flack Block: Acton Ostry – Restoration Project Receives Heritage Honour Award

March 18th, 2009

flackblock-actonostryaward

Architects Acton Ostry, were just awarded a Heritage Honour Award by the City of Vancouver’s Heritage Commission for their work on The Flack Block.

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