TV Towers

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TV Tower 1 - 788 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC

TV Tower 2 - 233 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC

TV Towers
TV-Towers-Van-Exterior.png

TV Towers 1 and 2 - Exterior
Building Information
Developer Concord Pacific
Architect Walter Francl
Management Company Rancho
Number of Units 525
Number of Floors 26 and 36
Year Built 2009
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof PMR
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788 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning CD1 (431); DD
Title of Land Strata


Contents

Background

The site of TV Towers’ condominium development on Robson Street is best known among locals for sharing its lot with the regional office of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

In 2004, Concord Pacific Developments won a bid to build the TV Towers on what was then the CBC parking lot. Concord representative, David Negrin believes that their winning bid was partly due to the company’s promise to make the redevelopment a joint venture with the CBC – to integrate the towers into the design of the existing CBC offices.

The CBC regional offices on Robson Street.

The CBC building underwent some serious redevelopment as well. The least of which involved moving the parking lot underground. More significantly, designers proposed a public square in front of the building, and a more open layout inside. The new concept included lots of glass and steel, a large mezzanine lobby, studio space available for rent to the public, and a larger “bullpen” for journalists, with far fewer walls.

Something else the CBC building and the TV Towers had in common was that designers wanted to promote community and communication and to create spaces where people would be able to come together. Judging by the fact that Concord had to hold back 90 apartments so they’d have something left to sell at their grand opening, people seemed to like the idea.[1]

Location

The TV Towers at home in the thick of Robson Street.

TV Tower 1 is at the intersection of Hamilton and Robson Streets, while TV Tower 2 is approximately one block further along Robson Street itself.

Both buildings, then, are in the heart of downtown Vancouver, minutes from the best that the city has to offer. The Vancouver Art Gallery, the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, the hub of nightlife on Granville Street, professional sports at BC Place, and top-level shopping anywhere in the downtown core. As if that wasn't enough, the towers are also within walking distance of the trendy boutiques in coffee shop culture of the Yaletown neighborhood.

The heart of downtown also means the heart of Vancouver’s formidable public transit system. Residents at TV Towers are literally steps away from key bus routes, with nearly 50 transit options in easy distance. In fact, many locals are of the opinion that a car in downtown Vancouver can often be more hindrance than convenience.[2]


Construction

When it comes to the urban development of downtown Vancouver, some critics are of the opinion that area condominiums have a certain “sameness” about them. Whether that’s because of rapid expansion, or a desire to create more defined neighborhoods – really, whether it’s apparent at all – is a matter of opinion. Whatever one’s stance on the issue happens to be, the TV Towers are not often part of the discussion.

The TV Towers make for a genuinely different post-modern addition to the Vancouver skyline. Tower 1 is 26 stories high, with 225 residential units, while Tower 2 comes in at 36 stories, and 300 units. Both towers feature private balconies that are in keeping with their clean, elegant glass-and-steel curves.

Since the towers were developed as a joint effort between Concord and the CBC, in conjunction with the existing CBC building, there was already an existing design element in play. The CBC’s signature orange and red scheme is apparent on the skin of the towers. The shades of purple and green that were chosen for the office redevelopment echo in the glass on the tower balconies.[3]


Layout and Features

A sample kitchen scheme.

Both of the TV towers feature suites from one bedroom, to two bedrooms and a den. TV Tower 2 also has a number of studio apartments. Interestingly, in a poll conducted during construction, locals expressed a desire for more studios. Not only in the TV Towers, but in any future condominium developments in the area.

David Hepworth, at Vancouver’s Situ Design, is the mind behind the interiors at TV Towers. Hepworth chose to follow a cleaner European-style design plan featuring high-gloss white cabinetry in the kitchens and glass mosaic back splashes – though some residents chose the upgrade to stainless steel. Counters and worktops are typically particle wood, with granite and stone also available.

Floors are laminate in main living areas, and tiled in the bathrooms. All suites come in one of two pre-designed color schemes, light or dark.

Floor Plans

A selection of unique floor plans from the TV Towers:

Amenities

The list of amenities at TV Towers 1 and 2 includes:

  • Concierge
  • Gym
  • Whirlpool/Sauna
  • Steam room
  • Yoga studio
  • Theater
  • Games room/Sports lounge
  • Meeting room
  • Storage
  • Secure parking
  • Video entryphone


Bylaws

TV Towers Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No



  • The TV Towers welcome pets.
  • Suites are available for either rental or purchase.
  • There are no age restrictions on residency.


Sustainability

For a building that opened to occupants in 2009 and billed itself as a collection of "cutting edge homes", it's somewhat surprising that the developers (and perhaps the marketers) behind TV Towers didn't put the usual emphasis on the questions of its sustainability and environmental impact. There's little mention of things like LEED Certification, or sustainable building materials.

However, the TV Towers do come equipped with low energy appliances and fixtures, as well as double-glazed glass for improved insulation and heat management.

Taken together with Vancouver's all-out run for the title of "World's Greenest City" by the year 2020 - an initiative that includes a recycling program that's capable of handling almost anything, and the new "Green Bin" compost sites - the TV Towers' efforts at sustainability are definitely contributing to something much larger.[4]


Trivia

CBC Television's Ernie Coombes, as Mr. Dressup, with the equally famous Casey and Finnegan.

Mr. Dressup - Ernie Coombs

No article that has anything to do with changes to the CBC, either the building or its programming, would be complete without some small mention of Ernie Coombs. From 1964 to 1996, Coombs was a cornerstone of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as Mr. Dressup. Ironically, Coombs himself wasn't Canadian. He was born in Maine, came to Toronto for the run of the show, and retired there when it was over.

Most viewers remember Mr. Dressup alongside his puppet friends, Casey and Finnegan. But Casey and Finnegan began even before Ernie Coombs had a show of his own. Mr. Dressup first appeared on a CBC show called Butternut Square. Casey and Finnegan joined him there, but the show was cancelled after two seasons due to high production costs. Casey and Finnegan stayed on Mr. Dressup's own show until their puppeteer, Judith Lawrence, retired to British Columbia's Hornby Island in 1990.

Even after Mr. Dressup ended its run, Ernie Coombs remained involved with the CBC in a number of "Life and Times" retrospectives. Sadly, he suffered fatal stroke and passed away in September of 2001.

His show still runs in syndication.[5]


References

  1. The Vancouver Sun, on 671-7000
  2. Walk Score
  3. The TV Towers
  4. Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future
  5. The CBC remembers Ernie Coombs


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