Woodward’s Five Years On
A recent CTV Vancouver story featuring our Woodward’s Redevelopment noted that it was “hailed as a catalyst for change” when first built. Nearly five years later, it is clear that this ground breaking project has had a positive impact on the area. According to neighbouring retailers, the Woodward’s Redevelopment has helped to transform a previously struggling area of Vancouver’s downtown east side and created a “path to prosperity” that may not have been possible otherwise. The development has sparked a wave of new investment by entrepreneurs in the area, including restaurants, and local boutiques. There is a diverse mix of people living, working and spending time in the neighbourhood and the streets feel safer and more vibrant.
Woodward’s architect, Gregory Henriquez, emphasizes the ongoing need to strike a balance between economic growth and supporting the needs of the community at large – a key goal throughout the development of the project. During the design process, Henriquez consulted extensively with community groups with the goal of achieving financial feasibility while meeting the neighbourhood’s social needs. The result is a multi-faceted,1.2 million square foot program that gathers the diverse elements necessary for a healthy, liveable neighbourhood including over 210 units of social housing, closely integrated with market rate condominiums. The success of this approach (market units sold out within twelve hours of going on the market) is an important indicator that such a mix can work. One-third of the site is also dedicated to accessible public spaces, promoting inclusive community life and supporting a burgeoning arts and culture scene.
Click here to watch CTV Vancouver: Woodwards building five years later.