501

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501 Pacific Street, Vancouver, BC

501
The501VanExterior.jpg

The 501
Building Information
Developer Amacon Development
Architect Hewit and Company Architecture
Management Company FirstService Residential
Number of Units 295
Number of Floors 33
Year Built 1999
Construction Method Concrete
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501 Pacific Street, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit Over 50 transit routes nearby
Region Vancvouer
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning DD
Title of Land Strata


Contents

Background

The 501


The trendy Yaletown neighbourhood in the south east corner of Downtown Vancouver is bordered by False Creek, Robson Street, and Homer Street. Once a heavy industrial area dominated by warehouses and rail yards, extensive development since Expo 86 has transformed the area into one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in the city. The marinas, parks, high rise apartment blocks, and converted heritage buildings constitute one of the most significant urban regeneration projects in North America. [1]

The 501 is a Yaletown luxury jewel. All manner of features and amenities are available to residents. The 501's unique amenities include an indoor/outdoor pool, outdoor volleyball, excellent fitness facilities, entertainment lounge and two guest suites for out of town guests. A resident caretaker, security guards keep the building safe, secure and in tip top shape. The wonderful location allows you to enjoy the urban lifestyle of Yaletown, the cool breezes and sunny day walks of Marina Side, and the nightlife of nearby Entertainment District, all just a short walk away.


Location

The 501 is at the corner of Pacific Street and Richard Street. Yaletown is Vancouver's destination for trendy shops, trendier yoga studios and even trendier bars and restaurants.

Yaletown seen from False Creek
The Canadian Pacific Railway had a huge influence on the shaping Vancouver and Yaletown was no exception. By the 1880s, the train line had reached Yale, a large town and the former centre of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush 240 or so kilometres (150 miles) to the east. Yale was the home of the company repair shops, and housed a large portion of the rail worker population. As the line was extended to Vancouver, these Yale residents followed it to the city, and settled in modest housing close to the yards which was soon dubbed Yaletown.

As the years progressed, the proximity of False Creek and the railway meant that Yaletown became heavily industrial. Many factories, rail buildings and warehouses were built, many of which survive to this day. After the real-estate boom and bust cycles of the 20th century, the area became run down and contaminated, and was bought up by the city. After the 1986 World's Fair (Expo 86), held on neighbouring former-industrial land, the whole area became ripe for development. The site was sold to a Hong Kong-based developer Li Ka-shing, setting in motion the redevelopment process which continues to this day.

Former train platforms, now walkways
City planners imposed strict guidelines on the development from the get go, in particular requiring a substantial amount of development of the public realm, and sensitive preservation of existing heritage stock. The city's new zoning plans helped the process of rejuveation by establishing objectives of improving livability and called for office space within Yaletown, as well as preserving its heritage structures. There are sizeable areas that were set aside for parks, waterfront access, community centres, and schools. The Stanley Park Seawall linear park has been continued through the area along the shore of False Creek, forming its southern boundary.

While little or no original housing from the 19th century survives, several older buildings from the industrial days still exist. Hamilton Street and Mainland Street are the most significant, comprising two intact streetscapes from that era. They are lined with handsome brick warehouses built on rail platforms, many with cantilevered canopies. These have been converted into loft style apartments and offices, with boutique stores, bars and restaurants at the ground level. During the latter years of the dot com boom, these streets housed Vancouver's "multimedia gulch" similar to the SOMA area of San Francisco.

An old brick Canadian Pacific roundhouse at the corner of Davie Street and Pacific Boulevard has been converted into the Roundhouse Community Centre. The centre uses the old engine turntable as a small outdoor amphitheatre and in another nod to the rail history of the area, it also houses Engine 374, which pulled the first passenger train into Vancouver in 1887.

Towering over the central core of Hamilton and Mainland Streets' heritage buildings, most of the other architecture in Yaletown is newly built on the old derelict yards, the vast majority in a contemporary glass and concrete high-rise style.[2]

Construction

Amacon Development built The 501 in 1999. This 318 foot (97 meter) tall, 33-level building has a concrete construction, concrete exterior finishing and full rain screen. Amacon has four decades of development and construction expertise, with many projects in Canada and the US under its belt, including the Palladio in Coal Harbour and Kitsilano's the Virtù.[3]

The 501 was designed by Hewitt and Company Architecture Inc. Hewitt provides professional consulting services in the fields of Architecture, Interior Design and Urban Planning. They have designed projects locally, regionally, and internationally and are the recipients of numerous design awards acknowledging outstanding architectural achievement.

They experienced in a broad range of building types including multi-unit, high-rise residential towers, theatre and entertainment venues, hotels, office and commercial complexes, industrial and institutional facilities, casinos, shopping centres and recreational buildings. Other developments include The Melville Tower and LodenHotel and the Brava Towers I and II and Vancouver International Film Centre.[4]

Layout and Features

The 501 contains 269 suites available as studio and small one bedroom homes from 406 to 521 square feet, one bedroom apartments from 571-648 square feet and two bedroom units ranging from 800 to 1020 square feet.

Finishes include limestone tiled flooring in the entries, kitchen and bathroom and granite kitchen counter tops and gas fireplaces.

Kitchens are equipped with a gas range, multi-cycle dishwasher and waste disposal.

Units also come equipped with in-suite stacking washer and dryer.

Bathrooms sport a deep soaker tub with a tiled surround and a built in glass shelving niche.

Monthly maintenance fees range from just over $100 per month to around $550 per month.

Floor Plans

Floor plans for The 501 are not readily available. Below is one example of a 1 bedroom suite. See references below for links to some video walkthroughs of the building.[5][6][7]

Amenities

The 501 showers residents with luxury amenities not found in many other buildings.

The complex has 2 furnished guest suites, a fitness centre and spa, indoor/outdoor lap pool with indoor hot tub and a sauna.

Outdoors, the building offers a sand filled beach volleyball court, a garden terrace with barbecue area, bicycle storage and underground parking.

The building also sports a concierge, party room, game room and media room.

Bylaws

501 Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues Yes


  • The 501 does not have any age restrictions for residents.
  • Pets and rentals are allowed with restrictions.

Sustainability

The 501 is not designated as a "green" building.

However, residents can live a greener lifestyle by doing things such as switching to CFL or LED light bulbs for their homes, recycling as much waste as possible and by limiting the use of a car for their day to day needs.

A plethora of shops, restaurants, and cafes nearby mean that nearly all day to day errands can be accomplished on foot. Upscale grocery stores Urban Fare and Choices are a few blocks away. Easy availability of a large number of transit options (Walkscore transit score of 100/100 with over 50 transit routes nearby) and car shares nearby mean that car ownership can be optional for residents.[8]

Trivia

Roundhouse and Yaletown in the early 1900s
  • The Yaletown area is home to 27 heritage sites as listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register as well as the famous Roundhouse Community Centre, which is a provincial heritage site.[9]
  • The first athletic park in the area, located in the 5 acres bordered by Smithe St, Nelson St, Hamilton St and Homer St, was in Yaletown. The park, opened in 1905 and survived until 1913, had a stadium and playing field. The park was home to Vancouver's Northwestern League baseball team.
  • Canada’s first gas station opened in 1907 at the southeast corner of Cambie and Smythe (now spelled Smithe) in Yaletown. This station was operated by the Imperial Oil Company, where pails were hand-dipped into a large wooden barrel of gasoline and then transferred to cars. Obviously long before any environmental or health and safety regulations!
  • Vancouver-based multi-platform musician Bif Naked is a resident of Yaletown.

References

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Amacon Development
  4. Hewitt and Company
  5. Youtube
  6. Youtube
  7. Youtube
  8. Walk Score
  9. Yaletown Info


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