889 Homer

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889 Homer Street, Vancouver, BC

889 Homer
889HomerVanExterior.jpg

889 Homer Street
Building Information
Architect Bing Thom Architects
Management Company Vancouver Condodominium Services
Number of Units 58
Number of Floors 27
Year Built 1992
Construction Method Concrete
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889 homer Street, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning DD
Title of Land Strata


Contents

Background

Entry at 889 Homer
Located a stone's throw from the hip and happening center of Yaletown, 889 Homer is a short walk to the waterfront where residents can enjoy some of the best Vancouver has to offer. Residents can stroll the miles of seawall linked to Stanley park or relax on one of the nearby beaches.

Formerly a heavy industrial area dominated by warehouses and rail yards, Yaletown has undergone one of the largest urban regeneration projects in North America to be transformed into a community of marinas, parks, high rise apartment blocks, and converted heritage buildings form . [1]

889 Homer combines refined detailing with one of Vancouver's best small public spaces. The tower mixes five storeys of offices and retail space with 21 floors of apartments in a Hong Kong style thin tower package.


Location

The Vancouver Public Library
889 Homer is located at the corner of Homer and Smithe streets, just to the Northwest of the heart of trendy Yaletown with its renowned restaurants, unique shops and young urban hipster population. Residents are only a block away from the City's famed public library, two blocks from Yaletown Park where the area's glitterati walk their purse dogs and a ten to fifteen minute walk away from the waterfront and seawall where they can hop on the Aquabus to Granville Island market to grab gourmet items for a special meal or take in a show at the Arts Club Theatre or some improv comedy at Theatresports.
Former train platforms, now sidewalks
Yaletown gets its name from the expansion of the railway when a line was extended from the town of Yale some 240 kilometres to the East. Yale was not only centre of the Fraser Canyon gold rush but also home to the Canadian Pacific Railway's repair shops and consequently housed a large population of railway workers. When the line reached Vancouver the CPR relocated its shops to the north shore of False Creek and the workers followed, naming their new home on the outskirts of Vancouver Yaletown.

Yaletown grew into an industrial centre with factories and warehouses springing up around the rail yards. Eventually the area became dilapidated and unused. and stayed so until significant redevelopment was started after the Expo 86 World's Fair.. The new development plan not only called for a master community, but city planners imposed strict guidelines on the development as well. The result is a great mix of preserved historic buildings that have been converted into lofts and shops, modern glass, steel and concrete high rises and parks, schools and public spaces. The Stanley Park Seawall has been continued through the area along the Northern shore of False Creek, forming its southern boundary and providing a route for pedestrians, cyclists and in-line skaters to make their way all the way from Coal Harbour to Kitsilano beach.

Another great feature of the neighbourhood will also appeal to train buffs. The old brick Canadian Pacific roundhouse at the corner of Davie Street and Pacific Boulevard has been converted into the Roundhouse Community Centre which makes use of the old engine turntable as a small outdoor amphitheatre. The centre is also home to Engine 374, which pulled the first passenger train into Vancouver in 1887. [2]

Construction

Surrey Centre Library
Washington's Arena Stage
The class and concrete tower at 889 Homer, built between 1991 and 1992, stands 83.50 meters tall. Designed by famed architect Bing Thom in a modernist style, the building was built at a cost of $20 million.

Famed Canadian architect and urban designer Bing Thom was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Vancouver with his family in 1950. He moved to Tokyo in 1971 to work for Japanese architect-urbanist Fumihiko Maki. Upon his return to Canada in 1972, he joined Arthur Erickson Architects as project director and oversaw projects such as the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto ( built in 1977), the Robson Square Courthouse Complex in Vancouver (built 1973–79) and the Air Defence Ministry Building in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

In 1981, Thom established his own firm, Vancouver-based Bing Thom Architects and in 1995, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. He is a recipient of the Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding service to his country, is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and is the recipient of honorary degrees from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. In 2010, Bing and his firm were awarded the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada's Architectural Firm of the Year award and in 2011 he was awarded the RAIC's highest honour, the RAIC Gold Medal. Some of his most notable projects include the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia, the new Surrey City CentreLibrary, The Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington. DC, and the soon to be built Xiqu Centre in Hong Kong. [3]

Layout and Features

The "889" is an outstanding building designed by architect Bing Thom with only three suites per floor. The units offers clean lines and windows galore with exceptional floor plans, finishes and amenities. 889 Homer has a mix of one, two and three bedroom units. Given the 20 year age coupled to the upscale nature of the building, most units have likely been remodelled or renovated since new. As such fixtures and appliances will likely vary from unit to unit. Apartments do feature plenty of attractive curved walls and large windows to warm residents with plenty of sunshine.

Floor Plans

Floor plans for 889 Homer Street are not readily available. See references below for video walkthroughs of units.[4][5]

Amenities

889 Homer features some great amenities including a fitness room, sauna, hot tub and sun deck. Residents have use of underground parking and storage lockers

Bylaws

889 Homer Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No



Despite being a high end building with tight management, there are very few restrictions at 889 Homer. Pets and rentals are allowed and there are no age restrictions on residents.

Sustainability

889 Homer 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.

The wealth of shops, restaurants, and cafes nearby mean that nearly all day to day errands can be accomplished on foot and, indeed, Walkscore gives 889 Homer a rating of a full 100/100.

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

Engine 374
  • 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]
  • Yaletown's community centre is home to CPR Engine 374. Engine No. 374 was the steam engine which pulled the first transcontinental train to Vancouver, arriving on May 23, 1887. Engine 374 was built by the CPR in 1886 and was one of eight similar 4-4-0 steam locomotives built that year in the Montreal shops.
  • 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.
  • The nearby Library Square Project was the largest capital project ever undertaken by the City of Vancouver. The design by Moshe Safdie and DA Architects was by far the most radical proposal but was the public favourite. The inclusion of the 21 story office tower in the design was required in order to pay for it and as part of a deal with the federal government to obtain the land; the federal government has a long term lease on the high rise office tower portion of the project.

References

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Virtual Open House
  5. Video Open House
  6. Walk Score
  7. Yaletown Info


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