Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver Sun’

Westcoast homes: Paris Block ‘Annex’ Homes Soon For Sale

June 14th, 2008
Rendering of Paris Annex, and Paris Block on the left.

Rendering of Paris Annex, and Paris Block on the left.

Westcoast homes – Paris Block ‘Annex’ Homes Soon For Sale

Saturday, June 14, 2008
Vancouver Sun 

More than a century may separate the Salient Group’s new Paris Annex from the 29-residence restored Paris Block (right) at Hastings and Abbott In the Downtown Eastside, but they still have plenty in common. ‘The Annex will complement its neighbour in design and purpose,’ a Salient news release says, ‘These two buildings will share corridors, stairs and an elevator, and the juxtaposition of old and new speaks for The Salient Group’s commitment to sensitive development in Vancouver’s original neighbourhood.’ The Paris Block, built in 1907, sold out last summer. 

The six-storey building kept its painted brick façade, its turn-of-the-century cornices, sills and centre-pivoting windows. The homes in the new Paris Annex, with its minimal concrete frame and glass and aluminum façade, will range in size from 689 square feet to 1.415 square feet with prices starting at under $400,000. Salient expects to begin selling later this month.


Vancouver Sun: Robert Fung talks about restoring the Flack Block

May 5th, 2008
Robert Fung Restoring Flack Block

Flack Block from Victory Park.

Vancouver Sun’s Westcoast Homes editor Michael Sasges speaks with Robert Fung about some of the work involved with restoring the Flack Block.

Click here to listen to the audio interview.


Vancouver Sun: Landmark Victorian restored

April 19th, 2008
The Flack Block, across from Victory Park at the corner of Hastings and Cambie Streets.

The Flack Block, across from Victory Park at the corner of Hastings and Cambie Streets.

 by Michael Sasges
The Vancouver Sun, Westcoast Homes
April 19, 2008

The building is a pointer to the growth of the city in the decades after the arrival of the national railways and to the contribution of Edwardian and Victorian architects to Vancouver’s first-city status in a young British Columbia.

Slideshow: Developer Robert Fung describes some of the surprises he encountered in the Flack Block. You can watch the slideshow/interview here: Vancouver Sun: Robert Fung talks about restoring the Flack Block.

His usual work the restoration of older commercial and industrial buildings for residential re-use, developer Robert Fung has passed the last two years or so organizing the restoration of an older building for commercial reuse.

The building is the Flack Block. By next year, it will have commanded the northeast corner of Hastings and Cambie in downtown Vancouver for 110 years.

The rehabilitation work reintroduced or restored: 
1) Exterior features damaged or removed over the years, such as an archway 
2) Exterior features that have survived the decades, such as the sandstone facades and the wood-trimmed windows
3) The original lightwell 
4) The original stairwell and elevator cage

As well as adding a new top floor, the new-construction work brought a 19th-century building up to 21st-century seismic, structural and building-systems standards, and introduced a new elevator and shaft.

The building is a pointer to the growth of the city in the decades after the arrival of the national railways and to the contribution of Edwardian and Victorian architects to Vancouver’s first-city status in a young British Columbia.

‘‘The Flack Block is a significant landmark component of the early retail and commercial fabric of West Hastings when Hastings Street was one of the most prominent commercial streets in early Vancouver,” city hall staff told council. (more…)


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.”

(more…)


Westcoast Homes: Bowman Block: Remaining warehouse apartments released

January 20th, 2007

bowman-block-fung-loft-sm

Bowman – Remaining warehouse apartments released
Beatty Street addresses surge in value between pre-construction release and today

Vancouver Sun, Westcoast Homes
Chantal Eustace
Saturday, January, 20, 2007

If the walls of the bowman block could talk, they would have a century of stories to spill, with the latest chapter the conversion of the warehouse into 38 apartments, all but 13 held back from the market by the developer until the building was ready, or almost ready, for its second century.

Three years in the “writing,” the Bowman apartments are a statement about the power of contrast in residential interiors, energy-efficient windows, for example, against beams of wood blackened slightly during a fire 80 years ago.

This narrative in juxtaposition is only part of the ”story,” however. For the Bowman Block’s developer, Robert Fung, it is a means of expressing an intention, less to rehabilitate an Edwardian structure and more to elevate the building to the built-environment prominence it enjoyed in its first decades.

”One of our goals with heritage rehabilitation projects is to bring these important buildings back to prominence in today’s environment,” Fung says.

“We try and reinstate each of these buildings as a landmark, with the intent that they become recognized and iconic in the fabric of the city.”

The warehouses of downtown Vancouver have been undergoing conversion into homes for almost 25 years, with the first conversion in the city’s history occurring up the street.

The lessons learned in those 25 years, by the development fraternity and city hall and the market, mean conversions undertaken today inevitably generate better homes than the first-generation conversions, Fung says.

But are they profitable? “It makes sense,” he says. “It’s a successful project all around. We were able to achieve the quality of the project that we wanted and the suites that we wanted. . . . At the end of the day it made sense.”

(more…)


Vancouver Sun: What’s Up For 2007: Scott Pettipiece

January 18th, 2007
Scott Pettlplece poses In front of Shebeen whisky bar, housed In Gastown's Alhambra Hotel, one of several historic properties being developed as part of a revitalization plan for the area.

Scott Pettlplece poses In front of Shebeen whisky bar, housed In Gastown's Alhambra Hotel, one of several historic properties being developed as part of a revitalization plan for the area.

Vancouver Sun: What’s Up For 2007

Scott Pettipiece, Sales and Marketing Manager, Salient Group
by Jeani Read

Scott Pettipiece is part of big revitalization plans for the heart of Vancouver, so the city and its residents are on his mind for the new year. 

“I think 2007 is the year Vancouverites are going to stop comparing our city to New York or San Francisco and embrace Vancouver for the great city it already is,” he says. “It’s not just a naturally beautiful city where they can hike up a mountain before breakfast, but an urban city filled with a great nightlife and social scene.”

“I think people are going to start migrating toward real estate they feel a connection with, buildings that have history and real presence. I’m helping with the marketing on some of these heritage buildings that are becoming real homes, historic buildings like the Bowman Block, a 100-year-old former warehouse on Beatty Street; the terminus, an old hotel in Gastown; and the Paris Block on Hastings Street.

“For me? I proposed to my girlfriend Natasha on Christmas Eve, at home, after dinner. It was a quiet thing. She’s pretty shy and I’m not the kind of guy to go over the top. But she said yes. We like the idea of a summer wedding.”

Download the article here  (650kb JPG file)

Robert Fung and Howard Kruschke featured in Malcom Parry

June 15th, 2005
Howard Kruschke sells Salient boss Robert Fung's Bowman Lofts.

Howard Kruschke sells Salient boss Robert Fung's Bowman Lofts.

Vancouver Sun – Robert Fung and Howard Kruschke are featured in Malcom Parry’s column

Download the article here (2.3MB Acrobat .pdf file)