888 Beach

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888 Beach Avenue, Vancouver, BC

Beach Tower - 1500 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC

Ocean Tower - 1501 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC

Garden Tower - 888 Beach Avenue, Vancouver, BC

888 Beach
888BeachVanOverallExterior.png

888 Beach development from False Creek
Building Information
Developer Park Georgia Development
Architect James KM Cheng Architects
Management Company Vancouver Condominium Services
Number of Units 259
Number of Floors Three buildings, one 31 floors, the second 18 floors, the third eight floors and a number of townhouses
Year Built 1993
Construction Method Composite
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888 Beach Avenue, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit Over 40 transit routes nearby
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning CD-1
Title of Land Strata


Contents

Background

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]

888 Beach

Vancouver's False Creek waterfront is one of the great natural settings for a polished urban lifestyle. The residences at 888 Beach herald the city’s first foray into a unified community and street-oriented urban row-housing. From an ideal waterfront setting, residents can enjoy an unparalleled range of recreational amenities. Residents' lifestyles are further enhanced by the proximity of marinas, miles of seawall & beaches linked to Stanley park, the Aquabus to Granville Island market just steps away and minimal to downtown core, shops, restaurants and cultural venues

888 Beach Avenue provides a protected sanctuary for its owners. Highly detailed planning of the street level of 888 Beach has produced not only contemporary architectural design, but also the an integration of wonderful European gardens and courtyards in the heart of an urban retreat.

An indoor pool and training room are found on the main level as well as elegant lobbies with adjoining fireside library lounges overlooking the courtyard greenery and water features. A concierge service enables the prescreening of visitors enhancing the convenience and security of this exceptional development.[2]

Location

The 888 Beach development, located just west of Yaletown, covers an entire city block bounded by Beach Avenue and False Creek to the North and South and Hornby and Howe Streets to the East and West. 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 rejuvenation 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.[3]

Construction

The 888 Beach community

The 888 Beach development comprises an entire city block with three towers and a number of townhouses surrounding a central courtyard with gardens and a European style reflecting pool. At the north west corner, Beach Tower rises 33 stories from the highest elevation on the site. Diagonally opposite and several levels lower, Ocean Tower rises 18 stories, maximizing the views from both towers. The eight story Garden tower in the north east corner rounds out the complex. The Courtyard residences create an attractive enclosure framing and protecting the site.

Both Beach Tower and Ocean Tower make use of composite construction methods while the smaller Garden Tower was built of concrete. Windows are double glazed tinted aluminum , solid core slab doors are used throughout, suites feature wiring for in-suite security systems and balcony floors finished with imported porcelain tile. Buildings all have underground parking.

With only two or four residences on each floor all Ocean tower suites are corner suites. Two high speed elevators spirit residents to their floors. Beach Tower sports four to six suites per floor and is serviced by three elevators.

888 Beach was built in 1993. Development was a collaboration between the Park Georgia group and the Chiyoda Corporation of Japan, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi. The buildings were designed by James KM Cheng Architects. James K. M. Cheng is a Canadian architect best known for several condominium towers in Vancouver. Cheng's green glass towers have contributed to the architectural style known as Vancouverism.

Cheng was born in Hong Kong and educated at the University of Washington and Harvard where he studied under Richard Meier. He formed his own firm in 1978 when he won the commission for the Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver. Beginning in the 1990s Vancouver saw an unprecedented real estate boom that led to the construction of dozens of condo towers in the city. Cheng has become the leading residential tower designer of this period.

While most of his projects are residential and in Vancouver, Cheng has other credits:

Living Shangri-La currently the tallest building in Metro Vancouver

King George Tower - designed proposed tower that if completed would be one of the tallest buildings in Canada

The Fairmont Pacific Rim

Shangri-La Toronto - mixed used hotel, condo tower in Toronto and second building built by Cheng outside BC

Lincoln Square in Bellevue, Washington and first building built by Cheng oustide BC[4]

Layout and Features

The 888 Beach community's three buildings condominiums are are a mix of 295 one bedroom and den and two bedroom apartments. There are a few larger four bedroom sub-penthouses and penthouses. The units range in size from just over 1000 square feet to almost 1700 square feet for regular suites and 2500 to 3600 square feet for large penthouse units.

Aprtments feature imported marble tile thresholds and flooring in entries and natural gas fireplaces with marble tile finishes. Kitchens are finished with with polished granite counter tops and Villeroy and Boch tile backsplasdhes, Kohler double sinks and faucet with vegetable sprayer, imported porcelain tile flooring and a full array of Jenn-Air appliances. Each suite comes equipped with washer and dryer as well.

Bathrooms surround residents in luxury with Italian ceramic tiled floors and surrounds polished marble countertops, Kohler jetted soaker tubs and a seperate ensuite shower with glass surround.

Floor Plans

Below are floor plans for the Beach and Ocean towers.

Amenities

Residents of the 888 Beach community have access to many top notch amenities including a bike storage room, exercise facility, billiards room, fireside library lounges overlooking the central garden, indoor swimming pool, a sauna/steam room, concierge and 24 hour security and a European style landscaped inner courtyard with relaxing reflecting pool.

Bylaws

888 Beach Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues Yes


  • 888 Beach has no age restrictions for residents
  • Pets are allowed with certain restrictions
  • Units may be rented
  • Barbecues may be used with restrictions[5]

Sustainability

The 888 Beach development 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. The Aquabus to Granville Island and its popular market is virtually right outside the building.

Easy availability of a large number of transit options and car shares nearby mean that car ownership can be optional for residents.[6]

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.[7]
  • 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. 888 Beach Website
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Wikipedia
  5. PDF file of strata bylaws
  6. Walk Score
  7. Yaletown Info


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