Posts Tagged ‘Lumbermen’s Building’

Recognition: Salient Group wins 4 City of Vancouver Heritage Honour Awards

May 26th, 2009


The City of Vancouver Heritage Commission has awarded four of the Salient Group’s developments for building rehabilitation as follows:

The Flack Block, 163 West Hastings Street, an Award of Honour for structural, seismic and building systems upgrading, sustainable interiors, locally crafted stone façade components, reinstated areaways, extensive exterior restoration, and a compatible contemporary rooftop addition.

The Bowman Block, 528 Beatty Street, as Award of Merit for the mindful, restrained exterior preservation, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse to commercial and residential, including a compatible contemporary loft addition.

The Paris Block, 53 West Hastings Street, an Award or Recognition for its rescue, rehabilitation and adaptive reuse, and for the social and economic benefit the project provides to the downtown neighbourhood.

The Lumbermen’s Building, 509 Richards Street, an Award of Recognition for its rehabilitation and structural upgrade, including exposing the original banking hall ceiling, and providing high quality ground floor use and office space.

>> See the complete list of our awards on the Awards page.

Vancouver Sun: Robert Fung says his Salient Group ‘takes the life-cycle clock back to zero.’

October 4th, 2007
Beside the renovated 1912 Lumberman's Building, Robert Fung says his Salient Group 'takes the life-cycle clock back to zero.'

Beside the renovated 1912 Lumberman's Building, Robert Fung says his Salient Group 'takes the life-cycle clock back to zero.'

Robert Fung should have H as a middle initial. It would stand for “heritage,” because that has characterized the Salient development firm’s president since he left Concord Pacific to found it in 2001.

His first acquisition was the now-121-year-old Alhambra on Gastown’s Maple Tree Square where Salient has its offices. When city workers resume their duties, Fung should be able to start renovating the 26,000-square-foot structure into “what will still be one of the city’s oldest but also most modern buildings.” 

Ditto the nearby 50,000-square-foot Flack Block, where $15 million, including hard costs of $12 million, will add a fifth floor and totally renovate a “substantially vacant” building that housed “a pawnshop, booze cans and grow-ops” when Fung paid $2.5 million for it in 2005. 

“It was technically an office block, but the city had a broad definition,” Fung said, smiling. 

He was standing across Richards Street from the Lumbermen’s Building, which he bought vacant for $4 million in 2005. Closer to the Central Business District and in better physical condition than most of Salient’s Gastown centred projects, the building still broadly fits Fung’s aim of “breathing new life into vacant, desolate buildings, and bringing in a new population that appreciates them.”

He means folk who’ll occupy 29 live-work condos in the 1907 Paris Block at Hastings-off-Carrall Street. Demolition began this week for an 18-unit annex where similar units will fetch $600 per square foot. Sensitive to gentrification charges from Downtown Eastside residents, he said Salient projects will “round out the community… [and] the street feels more comfortable.”


Business In Vancouver: From Old to Gold – Tight office market gives new lease on life to the Flack Block

February 19th, 2007
Flack Block rendering

The heritage Flack building is being upgraded to prime office space, as this rendering suggests. “We want to compete with the downtown market,” said developer Robert Fung.

From Old to Gold
Tight office market gives new lease on life to old heritage buildings

Business In Vancouver
Feb 13-19, 2007

Soaring rent for Vancouver office space is making the renovation of older buildings less of a risk, and causing developers to look outside of Gastown and Yaletown for fixer upper opportunities.

The downtown office vacancy rate has plunged to a six year low of 5%, driving up leases for prime space up 30% in the past 24 months to new highs of $30-$35 per square foot, realtors note.

The intense demand has proved a boon to those who have gambled on Vancouver’s low inventory of heritage office buildings. Once seen as ripe for residential conversion, the trend is shifting to mixed use or upgrading of the old sites to quality commercial space.

The highest profile example is the old Woodward’s redevelopment on West Hastings Street, which will contain retail and offices along with about 500 condominiums when it completes in 2009.

Meanwhile, the Salient Group – well known for its loft condo conversions, has worked retail space into its Terminus redevelopment in Gastown, and will include 10,000 square feet of offices in its refurbishing of the old Garage and Cordage buildings next door.

Rick Ilich, president of the Townline Group in Richmond, which has renovated old warehouse space on Beatty Street and Homer Street into trendy condos, cautions of the cost challenges in inner-city upgrades.

“Construction’s slower, the trades aren’t necessarily making the margins they would on a simple, 30-storey building where they can just fly, so you’ve got to make sure you’re in the right location that you can get the numbers that you need to make it worthwhile,” he said.