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View Full Version : [New Westminster] Plaza 88 | 33, 35 & 37 Floors | u/c



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UnknownAce
Jun 5, 2009, 10:04 PM
People have already started to move in Azure 2. I saw people with moving van going in and saw ppl there when i was working out at the gym.

The UnknownAce

UnknownAce
Jun 5, 2009, 10:05 PM
Floor 34 on Marinus. Azure 2 is looking good. They have just cleared the sidewalk and are now working on the townhouses (which look like garbage) between Azure 1 and Azure 2. The pilings on the retail podium are still being driven daily.

I don't think those are town houses.. Those are Commercial/Retail stores in the front.

The UnknownAce

Spork
Jun 6, 2009, 12:59 AM
I don't think those are town houses.. Those are Commercial/Retail stores in the front.

The UnknownAce

No, they are definitely town houses between Azure 1 and Azure 2. I saw a washing machine and fridge in one of them like 2 days ago. Plus, the doors and access (low concrete barriers) are very strange for retail and would imply some sort of front garden/grass type thing.

UnknownAce
Jun 15, 2009, 6:20 PM
No, they are definitely town houses between Azure 1 and Azure 2. I saw a washing machine and fridge in one of them like 2 days ago. Plus, the doors and access (low concrete barriers) are very strange for retail and would imply some sort of front garden/grass type thing.

Ahh.. my bad.. I looked at them last week.. wierd for townhouse. Would've thought it was going to be commercial like the building across the street.

At least secure parking is now open for the Random parking.

vanman
Jun 17, 2009, 10:49 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v643/vannmann/golden%20ears/goldenears029_edited.jpg

officedweller
Jun 17, 2009, 7:47 PM
From the Plaza 88 webcam - is the taller tower topped out?

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/7518/megapixelcamallweather2.jpg (http://img31.imageshack.us/i/megapixelcamallweather2.jpg/)

Spork
Jun 17, 2009, 8:33 PM
From the Plaza 88 webcam - is the taller tower topped out?

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/7518/megapixelcamallweather2.jpg (http://img31.imageshack.us/i/megapixelcamallweather2.jpg/)

I count 36 floors - 1 more to go it seems.

red-paladin
Jun 18, 2009, 6:16 AM
I can see that the pile driving is going full swing on the first phase of the retail development on the south side of the Skytrain guideway.
I hope the fourth tower planned for on the western end of the property and the eventual retail redevelopment and fifth tower are built too.

Spork
Jun 18, 2009, 2:39 PM
I doubt that the fourth and fifth tower will be built anytime soon. I would give it 5-10 years. Plus, when the fourth gets built, it will block my view. :P

metroXpress
Jun 18, 2009, 4:30 PM
^ How many floors would the fouth one be?


By the way, there is a typo in the title: Foors

WarrenC12
Jun 18, 2009, 5:15 PM
Is anybody living in the 33 story building yet? It looks occupied from that picture.

Spork
Jun 18, 2009, 6:43 PM
The fourth one is 37 floors, as in the title - it is currently at 36.

I am living in the 33 story one - it has been occupied since January, I believe. The 35 story one (middle) has move in dates throughout the month.

UnknownAce
Jun 22, 2009, 10:32 PM
We moved in Nov 29th, 2008.

I'm hoping the tower 4 won't get completed too soon else my river view is gone as well.

People are moving into the 35 storey one now. I've seen lots of ppl moving in and craigslist is full of rental ads again.

Looks like it's gonna be another rental tower..

The UnknownAce

Spork
Jul 2, 2009, 4:50 PM
I saw a sign on the sales lot for Marinus that the retail portion (mall on the Columbia side) wouldn't be done until spring 2011. :(

urdailo
Jul 4, 2009, 5:00 PM
I saw a sign on the sales lot for Marinus that the retail portion (mall on the Columbia side) wouldn't be done until spring 2011. :(

That's right, I was told by the staff the retail space won't be occupied until 2011. Probably have something to do with the whole economic downturn. As for the ground level space between Tower 1 and 2, those are live/work space.

Anyone know or confirm the origin of drywall material used for this development? Was any chinese drywall used in lower mainland developments?

jlousa
Jul 4, 2009, 6:04 PM
As far as the industry knows none of the toxic Chinese drywall has been used anywhere in BC, it went almost completely to the states, there might have been some shipped to Sask and Man but I don't beleive it's been confirmed yet. The media overplayed the significance of it anyways.

Spork
Jul 4, 2009, 10:48 PM
Marinus (tower 3) is now topped out (pouring the top square thiny with mechanical in it). Still nobody living in the townhouses.

kilimats
Jul 5, 2009, 3:26 PM
I was visiting Azurus tower I yesterday, I am considering buying a condo for living.

I am doing tons of research about Rent VS Buying, still not sure it is worth it to do the jump, so many unknown factors, will the house market go down ? will the mortgage interest go up ? so should i go fixed or variable mortgage ? etc...

I fell in love with Suite #1 but the $499k asking price calmed me down (I haven't checked my mortgage with the bank yet)
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y188/kilimats/House/map.jpg

I took several videos of a few condo the Realtor and the developer sales center showed us. Let me know if you guys want to watch them, Not sure yet what this website is really about :D

And if any of you can share some tips on rent VS buy, that would greatly appreciate :)

vanman
Jul 5, 2009, 4:35 PM
^If you posted the videos I'd watch them. I had a coworker tell me that he toured the completed showroom (must be in Azure) and was really impressed.

jlousa
Jul 5, 2009, 5:25 PM
That price isn't too bad if you do the math $$$/psf. The issue is that layout, it's pretty bad, there are two long hallways which waste space, the one bedroom is odd shaped which will make furniture placement a hassle, and the living room is odd shaped as well. The layout also isn't too inclusive to open space with the placement of the walls.
So if you love the location then it might be worth it, but you could find something for the same price range that might be better. It would end up being smaller on paper but probably more useful. Take a look around, especially if you are willing to buy something that's a few years old you can get more bang for your buck.

officedweller
Jul 6, 2009, 1:23 AM
I agree - you probably have 100 sq ft of hallway there.

Spork
Jul 6, 2009, 3:29 AM
I am living in suite 10 right now, and it is pretty decent - I think that it goes for about $350k. I LOVE my huge balcony. I could probably fit an 8-seat patio table out there on top of some plants and a BBQ. The finishings seem good, but the paint is of a low quality (a mr clean magic eraser took some right off the wall. Appliances are mid-range (even though they are stainless). All in all, I find it to be a pretty good building apart from some late night train noise that sometimes wakes me up. The free internet/tv for a year is a pretty good deal if the place you look at has never been lived in.

officedweller
Aug 6, 2009, 10:11 PM
Webcam pic
Thursday August 6th, 2009:

http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/7518/megapixelcamallweather2.jpg (http://img194.imageshack.us/i/megapixelcamallweather2.jpg/)

NWRes
Aug 8, 2009, 9:13 PM
I'm surprised to learn that the developer isn't painting the building exterior. Hopefully the strata owners will decide to take this on

osirisboy
Aug 8, 2009, 10:29 PM
eww i wouldnt want it painted. I like exposed concrete better

Vancity
Aug 8, 2009, 10:59 PM
Webcam pic
Thursday August 6th, 2009:

http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/7518/megapixelcamallweather2.jpg (http://img194.imageshack.us/i/megapixelcamallweather2.jpg/)

You know, I'm really surprised that Vancouver doesn't build more around Skytrain stations..

paradigm4
Aug 8, 2009, 11:04 PM
Exposed concrete doesn't exactly age too nicely. Paint wouldn't look all that great either. Just cover it with plastic tile or whatever they use on most condos to add some colour.

SFUVancouver
Aug 8, 2009, 11:37 PM
^ I believe the favoured coloured cladding material in the city is Alucobond.

I have very mixed feelings about this building project. The massive above-ground parkades make sense in the context of being adjacent to the river but they are abhorrent from an urban design perspective. I am glad to see that there is some screening taking place but all I can think about is an airport parking garage.

I am glad there is so much density being plunked down beside the SkyTrain and the commercial component is positive too. However I cannot help but feel that the appearance and experience of this building from street level was never carefully considered. Could someone fill me in on what the plans are for the ground level? As for the parking garage, why couldn't single loaded corridors and two-story lofts have been laminated onto the street-facing facede? Or possibly shallow but long units of general office space?

Anyway, it is better than some but worse than many. I am happy it got off the ground before the market tanked and it sets an excellent precedent of what is possible at SkyTrain nodes. What really kills me is the juxdoposition of Plaza 88 with that awful, and expanding, strip mall that is kitty corner.

DKaz
Aug 9, 2009, 12:02 AM
If I can chime in on parkades... yes they encourage car travel, but they also allow buildings to be densely spaced meaning they barely impact those who choose to walk or take transit. That area of New Westminster will still be a vibrant walkable area. The retail area centred around New Westminster Station will further fortify the walkability the pedestrian friendliness of the area.

Just because people own cars does not mean they make cars their first means of transport.

officedweller
Aug 9, 2009, 1:26 AM
I think there's retail at grade below the parkade.

Jared
Aug 9, 2009, 6:16 PM
If I can chime in on parkades... yes they encourage car travel, but they also allow buildings to be densely spaced meaning they barely impact those who choose to walk or take transit. That area of New Westminster will still be a vibrant walkable area. The retail area centred around New Westminster Station will further fortify the walkability the pedestrian friendliness of the area.

Just because people own cars does not mean they make cars their first means of transport.

I don't think SFUVancvouer was criticizing the existence of parking (though I would hope CoNW would require less than normal, given proximity to the SkyTrain), but rather how is was incorporated into the project. I'd tend to agree with him though; frankly it's pretty damn ugly, and seems to create a lot of dead space on the street. Hopefully they'll gate some decent retail in the at-grade level. The West part of it (with whatever cladding they've put over it) looks better than the rest though (I assume this treatment going to be added to all of it, once the towers are complete?).

Spork
Aug 9, 2009, 7:49 PM
The parking is above-ground because of the water table and/or views of the skytrain or under the skytrain, as others have mentioned previously. The cladding will be added all along that side (although it doesn't seem like it will be on the west, and likely East sides - the rounded bit on the east side is actually the ramp to get up to other parkade levels).

The top level of cladding has plants in it that I am assuming will be climbing up, and will make an interesting effect. Overall, they are not that bad from street level, but I wish that the 4 live-work units under Azure 1 and Azure 2 were retail instead. All of the space under Marinus is going to be retail, and there is one space beside each of the Azure lobbies [Retail-Lobby-Live/work-Live/work-Live/work-Live/work-Lobby-Retail].

As another update, they seem to be expanding the floors already to underneath the skytrain station such that both the mezzanine level and the platform level will be connected to the building's podium and the shopping space to the south. It seems like there will be retail on both the North and South sides of the skytrain station, and it will extend all of the way to the westernmost side of the building. The retail is to be open in Spring 2011, so still a long ways to go (I believe that they delayed it for a year, likely because of the weak market).

urbanizer405
Aug 20, 2009, 5:05 AM
Though the parking garage makes the bottom part of the complex look unappealing (thus far, based on the webpic), I like how curved ramps were incorporated. Adds an interesting figure to the bland garage.

Spork
Aug 20, 2009, 5:46 AM
I'll have to take some photos of the entire building from all sides this weekend and post them here. The street-level feeling is really not all that bad. It will be much better once they plant trees along the sidewalk as well.

flight_from_kamakura
Aug 20, 2009, 5:51 AM
almost anything would be better than the parking lots that were there before.

anyone know what the timeline is looking like for the retail portion?

NWRes
Sep 20, 2009, 8:49 PM
I just got this in the mail:

On behalf of Plaza 88 Developments, Mike Degelder is pleased to invite you to an open house presentation for an update on the retail development and transit integration. Explore Plaza 88 at our open house. Learn more about the project from the Developer, its importance and discover what it really means to live at Plaza 88. Saturday, October 3 and Sunday, October 4 12pm-4pm at Marinus Sales Centre. Special guest Mayor Wayne Wright will be making an appearance at approximately 1pm on both days.

Should be interesting

hollywoodnorth
Sep 21, 2009, 1:26 AM
I think we are gonna need some photos and a detailed update posted here ;)

SpongeG
Sep 21, 2009, 8:31 PM
I don't think SFUVancvouer was criticizing the existence of parking (though I would hope CoNW would require less than normal, given proximity to the SkyTrain), but rather how is was incorporated into the project. I'd tend to agree with him though; frankly it's pretty damn ugly, and seems to create a lot of dead space on the street. Hopefully they'll gate some decent retail in the at-grade level. The West part of it (with whatever cladding they've put over it) looks better than the rest though (I assume this treatment going to be added to all of it, once the towers are complete?).

its new west its not pretty at best its quite the dead place at the best of times

Spork
Sep 22, 2009, 4:58 AM
I will be attending the open house thing. No letter, but I will go anyways.

The crane on Marinus started to come down today. I'd imagine that they will be done taking it down by Thursday.

officedweller
Sep 22, 2009, 6:35 AM
Hmmm just found these renders at the Degelder website.
I've seen the seond-to-last one before, but not the others
(esp. not the ones with the Safeway logo - lots of actual named retailers....).
Looks like an ugly! tall street wall on Columbia - a departure from the architect's renderings...

http://degeldergroup.com/
http://degeldergroup.com/PhotoAlbums/album_1242755481/

Ticket Platform Level - Looking East. Retail South of the guideway:
http://degeldergroup.com/PhotoAlbums/album_1242755481/0906-Rendering%203.jpg

Ticket Platform Level - Looking East. Retail North of the guideway:
http://degeldergroup.com/PhotoAlbums/album_1242755481/0906-Rendering%204.jpg

Columbia Street elevation: - what's at grade on Columbia???
http://degeldergroup.com/PhotoAlbums/album_1242755481/Columbia%20st%20elevation.jpg

Train Platform Level - Looking East at train platform level:
http://degeldergroup.com/PhotoAlbums/album_1242755481/Skytr_Oc25sm.jpg

Looking East from McInnis Street Overpass:
http://degeldergroup.com/PhotoAlbums/album_1242755481/sign-1.jpg

Compare with the VIA Architecture rendering -
there does seem to be a tall street wall to the left - but not as massive as the new renders:
http://www.via-architecture.com/projects/plaza88/image01.jpg

vansky
Sep 22, 2009, 6:43 AM
this is a good trend, promoting more business. Except these stores would be all ghosty by 7.

geoff's two cents
Sep 22, 2009, 7:28 AM
:previous: Good lord! From what I've seen of the Carnarvon side thusfar, I thought that was bad; the Columbia side looks even less inclusive. If there's no retail street presence on Columbia, as that last render seems to indicate, that doesn't bode well for the street. I sincerely hope that's not the case. . . Perhaps the rendering is inaccurate?

My impression from walking around downtown New West is that the city needs more architecture and retail business that encourages people to actually use the sidewalks, window-shop, etc. - and preferably after 6pm. As things currently stand, aside from the hub of activity around the pub at New West station and the other pub down the street, that street can be downright spooky at night - It's that dead. I still have some hope for this development, however. . .

Just out of curiosity, with no businesses (or "eyes on the street") out front of the building in that last rendering, where are those people supposed to be coming from/going to? Perhaps they're taking the scenic route from the skytrain to that XXX store on twelfth? Maybe that sleazy pub close by? C'mon New West!

mr.x
Sep 22, 2009, 7:38 AM
^ awesome! i'm really looking forward to this project.


How would they install fare gates with such an open station in render 4?

Vonny
Sep 22, 2009, 7:45 AM
I was visiting Azurus tower I yesterday, I am considering buying a condo for living.

I am doing tons of research about Rent VS Buying, still not sure it is worth it to do the jump, so many unknown factors, will the house market go down ? will the mortgage interest go up ? so should i go fixed or variable mortgage ? etc...

I fell in love with Suite #1 but the $499k asking price calmed me down (I haven't checked my mortgage with the bank yet)

...

I took several videos of a few condo the Realtor and the developer sales center showed us. Let me know if you guys want to watch them, Not sure yet what this website is really about :D

And if any of you can share some tips on rent VS buy, that would greatly appreciate :)

In case of, for our information:
the suite you mention rent for around $1700/month directly from the promoter, at intermediate level (pretty good view on Mount baker, the Fraser...)

we didn't choose it because, it looks far smaller than it is, due to an awkward floormap.
in addition, we need to take 2 elevators to get to the unit from the street, so it is cumbersome, and amenities are quite limited (no pool...): at this renting price point, you can find way better deal.

vanman
Sep 23, 2009, 6:40 AM
Thanks for posting those renders OD.

Damn the Columbia side is hideous. You think that heritage wrap could be concealing more above grade parking? It kind of looks like that's the case from the pic.

allan_kuan
Sep 23, 2009, 11:41 AM
Webcam pic
Thursday August 6th, 2009:

http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/7518/megapixelcamallweather2.jpg (http://img194.imageshack.us/i/megapixelcamallweather2.jpg/)

Why is there a huge parking lot? That sort of defeats the purpose of building near a Skytrain station. >.<

SpongeG
Sep 23, 2009, 8:56 PM
um residents need to park - not all condo abandon their cars

officedweller
Sep 23, 2009, 9:02 PM
Soil conditions require it to be above grade. Like in downtown Vancouver, just because you have a car doesn't mean you use it everyday for commuting - you use it for weekend errands and trips - parking is just car storage.

Not all of the podium is parking - there's retail at grade and retail halfway up facing the Skytrain side.

The Columbia side is disappointing -
My guess is that the Safeway (with parking above or below it?) is behind the blank facade. What's of more concern is that there doesn't appear to be any streetfront uses on that stretch of Columbia (based on the previous render, storefronts could end just to the east of that section). Could be the Safeway behind those sidewalk windows (like Save-on-Foods on West 7th @ Cambie)

Metro-One
Sep 23, 2009, 9:06 PM
:previous: And it is very difficult to create underground parking in this part of New West because of the risk of flooding (being located directly beside the Fraser River).

Also, this allows it so there are no condos looking directly at the skytrain guideway.

I for one love the retail component, this will really transform New West skytrain station in a very positive way! This development feels very Asian to me (actually directly combining transit and shopping).

Also I love the historic artwork aspect of the Columbia side! that being said, I do agree they should have had more small shop style retail accessible from Columbia on the base floor.

SpongeG
Sep 23, 2009, 9:07 PM
in this application it makes sense

it kind of looks more like an asian city to me now

mooks28
Sep 23, 2009, 9:58 PM
What I find interesting about these renders is that they use actual store names and logos. Does this mean they've been signed on? It would seem odd that they would use trademarks if that were not the case.

Metro-One
Sep 23, 2009, 10:46 PM
:previous: I was thinking the same thing, but then there is also a movie poster for "Strange Wilderness" in the renderings :haha:

So what I am wondering is if the renovations of New West station will be done at the same time this retail aspect is under construction (and if I am not mistaken it already is).

flight_from_kamakura
Sep 24, 2009, 12:12 AM
Columbia Street elevation: - what's at grade on Columbia???
http://degeldergroup.com/PhotoAlbums/album_1242755481/Columbia%20st%20elevation.jpg

seriously, this is precisely the wrong way to take this. with all the work they've put into columbia street, i'm surprised that the city let the developers get away with this!

SpongeG
Sep 24, 2009, 12:44 AM
that part of Columbia street is not pedestrian friendly now anyway it never will be

flight_from_kamakura
Sep 24, 2009, 1:52 AM
^ dude, that's the site of that value village thing, and it's right across from that keg restaurant! all it needs is better sidewalks!

Spork
Sep 24, 2009, 3:46 AM
No, Columbia dies after that because of the rail yard just beyond. I think from the perspective of that render in particular, we are not seeing everything. Note that there is a street underneath of the development (McNeely), and after that there is supposed to be at grade. In the render it doesn't look like we can see after McNeely street. The street should be where the bus is going in at the back of the render, as this is the new bus "loop" underneath of the development. Check out Google Maps and the original overhead render to see what I am talking about.

Vonny
Sep 24, 2009, 5:26 AM
in this application it makes sense

it kind of looks more like an asian city to me now

...if it doesn't turn to be like it

http://www.bloc-photo.net/public/2009_04/20090417.JPG

which is Olympiades, Paris (In Paris' chinatown ;) ), and share some specificity with Plaza 88 like:

The concept to have an above street pedestrian only open mall retail, and "introverted" devlopment toward the inside Mall. It has been a constant of the 70's architecture in France, and has basically universally failed.


I don't deny some quality to the Plaza 88 development, but the problem is a subway station gathers a very diverse population, making the concept of mall centered on the station relatively hard to lift-up, unless they get a critical size making a destination by itself : here it is not really the case.

closer to us, it could be compared to 2 developments in the Sheppard/Yonge area in Toronto North York,

one is an "introverting" mall at Sheppard station, not relating to the street (no retail at street level, though they have try to improve it, but they face the structure of the Mall): this mall is languishing, with signifcant level of vacancy.

the other is at North York station, it is pretty successfull (no vacancy at all and very busy mall!), Mall relates well to the street, with store like BestBuy providing both access (street, and Mall level), as well as a couple of food outlet, not mentioning that the movie theater generate traffic in evening, making the mall still lively in the late hour, contributing to the safety feeling of the station area at dark...walk along the street is nice and again shop windows along the road contribute to the safety feeling...

http://www.torontosnaps.com/p3/m/Yonge-Street/North-York-Empress-Walk-5664.jpg

bringing a safe feeling to the transit rider getting out of the subway (at the difference of the ghosty "olympiade Mall" after 6pm)

in case of you want know more about this devlopment (note how the the huge Podium is used), check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Walk


So, I concur with other poster to be rather skeptical about the Plaza88 Mall and could rather like something relating better to the street (ultimately, it is in the interest of everyone).

Metro-One
Sep 24, 2009, 5:29 AM
A movie theater component is not a bad idea to be included in this project.

Spork
Sep 24, 2009, 5:45 AM
I think that the two problems with this development are the above ground parking (which is necessary due to no parkade parking or other public parking nearby), and the skytrain line. The developer is focusing on integrating the skytrain line (at platform level and below), when they could be integrating the street, but they cannot do both. This would be ideal, with the piece underneath of the skytrain guideway being like a pedestrian-only street or outdoor mall, and wrapping around to the outsides of the structure. However, the property is so skinny, that the parking requirement precludes the ability to have retail on both sides of the building.

Either Columbia is barren, or the skytrain guideway is constructed around. I think that both have their major deficiencies, and I suppose that the developer is hoping that the lack of retail in the general area, combined with the novelty of the concept would generate some level of interest from shoppers.

officedweller
Sep 24, 2009, 6:30 PM
No, Columbia dies after that because of the rail yard just beyond. I think from the perspective of that render in particular, we are not seeing everything. Note that there is a street underneath of the development (McNeely), and after that there is supposed to be at grade. In the render it doesn't look like we can see after McNeely street. The street should be where the bus is going in at the back of the render, as this is the new bus "loop" underneath of the development. Check out Google Maps and the original overhead render to see what I am talking about.

Yeah, looks like the rendered area is here - red circle - next to the overpass. However, I don't think that the City should write-off Columbia/Stewardson Way to the west as being wasteland. It may have a strip mall now, but in future could see denser development. Plus the last tower of Plaza 88 will be to the west of the overpass too - hopefully it will have streetfront retail. It could even be just a narrow strip of retaail - like those in front of the downtown Safeways.

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/7615/61533477.png (http://img84.imageshack.us/i/61533477.png/)

SFUVancouver
Sep 25, 2009, 5:54 PM
Plaza 88 (New West Station, New Westminster) | September 24th ‘09

This project will really benefit from development on the Old Spaghetti Factory site on the corner. And everything else too.
http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/3204/plaza88newwestsept2409p.jpg
http://creativecommons.org/images/public/somerights20.png (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/ca/) Taken by SFUVancouver, September 24th, 2009

A couple lonely commercial storefronts have been squeezed in between parking garage entrances.
http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/2906/plaza88newweststreetsca.jpg
http://creativecommons.org/images/public/somerights20.png (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/ca/) Taken by SFUVancouver, September 24th, 2009

Giant underpass.
http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/7361/plaza88newwestunderpass.jpg
http://creativecommons.org/images/public/somerights20.png (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/ca/) Taken by SFUVancouver, September 24th, 2009

http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/3579/plaza88newwestlookingup.jpg
http://creativecommons.org/images/public/somerights20.png (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/ca/) Taken by SFUVancouver, September 24th, 2009

Towhouses at grade.
http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/8057/plaza88newwesttownhouse.jpg
http://creativecommons.org/images/public/somerights20.png (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/ca/) Taken by SFUVancouver, September 24th, 2009

http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/8057/plaza88newwesttownhouse.jpg
http://creativecommons.org/images/public/somerights20.png (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/ca/) Taken by SFUVancouver, September 24th, 2009

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/6687/plaza88newwestgroundpla.jpg
http://creativecommons.org/images/public/somerights20.png (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/ca/) Taken by SFUVancouver, September 24th, 2009

It have to say that it feels pretty brutal at grade. Street trees will help a bit but for me this one falls under the heading of a "what not to do at street level". Compare Plaza 88 to Dolce and Vita in Vancouver, which also have a very large above-ground parking garage, and it starts to look as if the Plaza 88 architects called it a day after dusting off an old plan from 70s. I'm happy that this amount of density landed on top of a SkyTrain station but it seems like the City was asleep at the switch on this one when it comes to fostering vibrant street life.

flight_from_kamakura
Sep 25, 2009, 7:25 PM
man, that's one hell of an imposing street wall. thanks for the pics dude, really gotta get out there now that it's done.

SpongeG
Sep 25, 2009, 7:29 PM
i think the city wants the street life on columbia not on the side street - so from that perspective mission accomplished

columbia could be the robson of the suburbs, two skytrain stations loads of good retail space etc. reminds of a hight street in london without the high street stores

mr.x
Sep 25, 2009, 7:37 PM
It reminds me of the facade for the theatre on Burrard.

officedweller
Sep 25, 2009, 8:33 PM
Thanks for the pics!

The townhouse use is a bit odd (Is the other side of the street retail or not?) - but the structure above the townhouses looks fine to me.

It's akin to any other streetwall (i.e. an office building) and it has a variation of facade treatments that reduces the monotony that could otherwise result. I'm actually glad that it doesn't have the "all curtain wall" facade treatment that appears to be shaping up on The Capitol.

WRT a comparison with the Dolce Vita podium, the two have different architectural styles. Take the concrete columns between the bays on Plaza 88's podium and clad them in brick and you'd have Dolce Vita's heritage looking podium (in fact, the glazing, spandrel and vent placement is more uniform on Plaza 88 than on Dolce Vita). In the case of Plaza 88, I think that a brick podium would have appeared darker and heavier and more overbearing due to the height.

jlousa
Sep 26, 2009, 8:34 AM
Here is all the info you could ask for regarding the intergretion with Plaza 88 and the skytrain. Lots of great renders as well. The project still doesn't appear very thought out and it appears Translink isn't all that pleased with it. Anywys hopefully someone with more time (I'm still at work at 2am on a Friday night and obviously working hard) can capture the pics and post them here as well as cut and paste some of the interesting tidbits from the document. Enjoy.


http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

vanman
Sep 26, 2009, 9:50 AM
^ I just blew a good 30 minutes trying to digest all that. Tons of info! And very descriptive renders too.

SFUVancouver
Sep 26, 2009, 6:56 PM
Here is all the info you could ask for regarding the intergretion with Plaza 88 and the skytrain. Lots of great renders as well. The project still doesn't appear very thought out and it appears Translink isn't all that pleased with it. Anywys hopefully someone with more time (I'm still at work at 2am on a Friday night and obviously working hard) can capture the pics and post them here as well as cut and paste some of the interesting tidbits from the document. Enjoy.


http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

The New Westminster SkyTrain Station was built in 1986. While the station is over 20 years old, an upgrade for the station was not previously identified as an immediate priority. However, there is a large scale commercial development project currently under construction that will ultimately surround the existing SkyTrain station.

The development includes:
1. three highrise residential towers immediately adjacent to the station
2. plaza areas connecting to the station
3. underground parking
4. significant retail space including a grocery store proposing an entrance into the existing concourse level of the station, and possibly retail on the platform level as well.
5. A significantly expanded modified bus loop in the original McNeely Street right-of-way under the station, largely enclosed by the new development


Until recently, only the residential towers of the adjacent development were under construction as tenants had not been secured for the commercial component. A concept plan for the commercial space that integrates the station has been prepared by the developer but detailed design and construction was not able to proceed without confirmation of tenancy. As tenants have now been secured, the developer is proposing to move quickly to detailed design and construction.


The developer’s architect has completed conceptual design drawings of the proposed integration of the development with the station and the bus exchange. While the architect is experienced with transit station design and requirements, there has been no formal input or review to date from TransLink on this design.


Issues Identified:
1. System Identity
a. The identity of transit facilities is an important component of increasing transit ridership. A significant factor in identity is the architecture/visibility of the facility itself. This is most obvious in at and above grade facilities and more challenging in underground or underbuilding facilities. When system identity through the architecture of the facility is obscured by development there is increased reliance on identity through wayfinding elements.

EVALUATION: The development encases the station thereby obscuring its identity from the surround street environment


2. Patron Movement Principles
a. The primary consideration in the design of transit facilities is passenger comfort and convenience which, at a functional level, are expressed in terms of principles, criteria, guidelines and standards for passenger/pedestrian movement. Transit facilities can also be considered as public utilities requiring a very high level of public access. As these are critical to the success of the transit system, they can not be compromised by the desires or aspirations of the development.

EVALUATION: While the basic station circulation is in tact, the relocation of the “entry(s)” to the platform level, may prove confusing to passengers. The existing stair and escalator from the mezzanine is now “public” circulation and issues of operating, maintenance and liability arise.

3. Safety and Security
a. Transit facilities are “operating” environments wherein there is a direct interface between passengers/pedestrians and transit equipment/vehicles. This means that every measure must be taken to ensure the safety and security of passengers/pedestrians to and from the vehicle through the facility to a point of public access be that a street or a public space.

EVALUATION: The addition of “eyes” on the street during business hours is a positive aspect but after business hours the extensive “public” areas may need supervision/security.

4. Station Closure
a. As an operating environment, to a greater or lesser degree, there is a requirement to be able to close a facility to public access during non-operating hours or in the event of a service interruption

EVALUATION: The station is currently closed at the mezzanine level of the vertical circulation (confirm) The “transfer” of this circulation into the “public realm” creates a station closure issue.

5. Controlled Access
a. TransLink’s policy is for all transit stations to be design to allow for the implementation of a controlled access programme. This usually involves the provision of space and servicing for fare gates. To implement a programme of this nature in a convenient way for passengers and a cost effective manner for TransLink, a single point of entry or a common concourse approach to station design in most beneficial.

EVALUATION: The Controlled Access study proposes that the gate arrays be located at the mezzanine level at the foot of the vertical circulation and at the remote elevator locations at grade. The development proposal does not gate the elevator and proposes that the gate arrays be at platform level. This is generally not considered good practice and
insufficient space and equipment have been allowed for.

6. Staff Access
a. Transit facilities require servicing by operating company staff and/or theircontractors (e.g. fare machine service and collection) Therefore, control and access to the facility can not be compromised by development.

EVALUATION: It is assumed that staff access can be maintained.

7. Wayfinding
a. As a public facility, access must be available and clearly understood by a broad spectrum of society. This includes able bodied individuals and those with a variety of mobility challenges. Therefore, the components of wayfinding – signage, system information, mobility aids (EG tactile flooring) must be employed in facilities to a standard consistent with other parts of the transit system. It may therefore, be necessary to extend the wayfinding system into or through development.

EVALUATION: The arrangement of vertical circulation and platform access will require a robust signage and wayfinding programme. Further, the lack of station identity will require the wayfinding programme to establish identity at the street and mezzanine levels.

8. Maintenance
a. Transit facilities are public facilities with a very particular pattern of use. This results in very particular access needs for the purpose of maintenance. While some maintenance activities can be performed in non-operating hours, the majority of the regular maintenance is performed during operating hours. The ability to undertake this work must not be compromised by development.

EVALUATION: The responsibility for maintenance of the various “public realm” areas will have to be negotiated

9. System Integration
a. Transit facilities, particularly train stations, have extensive operating and control systems which are necessary for the safe and reliable operation of the system.

EVALUATION: It is assumed there will be no issues associated with systems integration

10. Building Code Criteria
a. Transit facilities are not generally covered by the regulations of the applicable building codes. This is particularly significant for rail transit stations. Further, the fire and life safety aspects of the interface between transit facilities and development are complex and require the careful analysis of the appropriate professionals.

EVALUATION: A site specific code analysis will be required. There may be issues associated with exiting into a commercial development. There will be issues associated with the “limiting distance” between the two buildings. Note that a code consultant will be procured by TransLink under separate contract. The successful Proponent of this concept review and development RFP will be required to work with TransLink’s code
consultant to complete the scope of work.

11. Structural Interface
a. Transit facilities, particularly rail transit facilities – guide ways/tunnels and stations, are generally designed to post disaster standards. Therefore, the implications of the structural interface between the transit facility and development must make allowance for the transit facilities performance requirements during disaster events. Further, and of equal importance, is the fact that transit facilities are very sensitive to the potential impact of adjacent development causing localized differential settlement. Therefore, the structural interests of the transit facility cannot be compromised by adjacent development.

EVALUATION: A site specific structural assessment will be required

12. Operational Risk (during and post construction)
a. Transit facilities are operating environments which serve the public interest. Many people rely on public transit on a daily basis and may be their only means of moving across the region. Therefore, the importance of being able to provide the service as schedule is very important. Operational risk during and after the construction of
development must be avoided.

EVALUATION: There will be operating risk associated with the construction period. Operational risk after the development is completed should be assessed. All risk should be transferred to the developer.

[the proponent will]
Review the SkyTrain Design Manuals, TransLink’s Transit Infrastructure Design Guidelines and Transportation Association of Canada Guidelines to which all Station improvements shall adhere;
1. Review the recently upgraded Design standards as developed for the Broadway and Main SkyTrain Station upgrades (design completed), and apply to the conceptual design review.

While it is presently intended that the station will remain operational during construction of the upgrades, consideration may be given to a station shutdown if required for phasing and if financially feasible.

The conceptual design includes infrastructure to allow for the future inclusion of faregates and Smartcards. The successful proponent will be working collaboratively with TransLink’s current consultants (for the overall faregates/Smartcards project) to review the location and size of the infrastructure required. Further direction will be provided to the successful proponent.

Consideration will need to be given of the opportunities/constraints for
incorporating sustainable design practices and/or LEED certification into the design of the station upgrade.

The proposed schedule milestones for this assignment are:
Milestone Event Date
Notice of Award issued October 30, 2009
Project Kickoff Meeting November 3, 2009
Complete Conceptual Design review report December 31, 2009
Complete Final Conceptual design review report January 21, 2010

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/5234/renderplatformperspecti.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img185.imageshack.us/img185/1799/areaplan.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/5096/busloop.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/6975/concourselevel.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img185.imageshack.us/img185/2483/concourserender.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/6046/platformlevel.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/7937/projectillustrationnort.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/1316/projectillustrationsout.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/7222/projectillustrations.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img2.imageshack.us/img2/9523/renderconcourseentrance.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/2537/renderconcourselevel.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/589/renderglassroof.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/5995/renderisometic.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img300.imageshack.us/img300/2199/renderlookingnorth.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/8995/renderlookingwest.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img185.imageshack.us/img185/7770/renderplatformentrance.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/1576/renderplatformlevel.jpg
Source: http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/About%20TransLink/Bidding%20Opportunities/Q9%200076/Q90076%20RFP.ashx

officedweller
Sep 28, 2009, 9:11 PM
WOW!
Thanks for the info.

As we thought, it looks like there is parking behind that blank wall on Columbia - part of the 3 levels of parkade below the Safeway. You'd think they could add a thin strip of retail...

paradigm4
Oct 6, 2009, 9:12 PM
I like that little plaza piece with the stairs that fronts onto 8th St.

Mukmuk
Jan 5, 2010, 4:59 AM
Does anyone know when construction on the south side of the guideway will resume? (safeway, etc...)

SpongeG
Jan 5, 2010, 5:26 AM
when conditions get better? i thought they were going to wait until the economy improves?

Spork
Jan 5, 2010, 6:23 AM
The sign says Spring 2011. I think that they hadn't even gotten it approved by Translink, but have heard that it is now approved.

On another note, people have been moving into Marinus for the past couple of weeks. There is no evident construction activity anymore.

dleung
Jan 5, 2010, 6:59 AM
http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/8057/plaza88newwesttownhouse.jpg
Oh my gawd, this is a travesty. The facade and massing are practically begging for an active streetfront, and they've turned it into the lamest possible kind of gated community!!!

This section w/ skytrain running through is pretty awesome tho.

Mukmuk
Jan 5, 2010, 7:12 AM
Those "townhomes" are too flat. They look like they should be offices, not inhabited by people... Also they haven't hooked up the street/sidewalk lights on canarvon yet either, wonder what's holding that up.

Spork
Jan 5, 2010, 7:29 AM
http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/8057/plaza88newwesttownhouse.jpg
Oh my gawd, this is a travesty. The facade and massing are practically begging for an active streetfront, and they've turned it into the lamest possible kind of gated community!!!

This section w/ skytrain running through is pretty awesome tho.

I haven't seen many people going in or out. Hopefully nobody buys into them and retail demand for that street skyrockets (ha).

Mukmuk
Jan 7, 2010, 8:00 AM
:yes: This is interesting. I was walking out of the skytrain this evening and noticed a new sign on the inside of one of the retail spaces.

It said "Join us at new westminster station. Safeway, Shoppers and Landmark Cinemas." along with a few other small businesses that I can't remember.

A movie theater is coming!? I didn't know that and I think that is fantastic. I'll take a picture of the sign tomorrow.

hollywoodnorth
Jan 7, 2010, 10:46 AM
Landmark Cinemas eh..........interesting. But I mean over the last decade Lougheed Mall and Uptown New West both lost their theaters......I'm waiting for Brentwood Mall area to get a theater.....seems like a great location.

Same with Marine Drive station where one would go if the development there goes ahead.

vanman
Jan 7, 2010, 4:20 PM
:yes: This is interesting. I was walking out of the skytrain this evening and noticed a new sign on the inside of one of the retail spaces.

It said "Join us at new westminster station. Safeway, Shoppers and Landmark Cinemas." along with a few other small businesses that I can't remember.

A movie theater is coming!? I didn't know that and I think that is fantastic. I'll take a picture of the sign tomorrow.

Sweet! NW needs a theatre badly, as well it would serve east Burnaby also. It could do fairly well being connected to the skytrain as opposed to up on 6th st.

Mukmuk
Jan 7, 2010, 7:11 PM
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_TiR7PhPbMf8/S0YxhiIHLmI/AAAAAAAAADc/p2qS01OpyIQ/s400/IMAG0044.jpg

metroXpress
Jan 7, 2010, 7:12 PM
^ thanks for posting that

This is definitely something I am looking forward to.

officedweller
Jan 7, 2010, 7:41 PM
Nice.
Thanks for the update.

SpongeG
Jan 8, 2010, 9:34 AM
Landmark Cinemas eh..........interesting. But I mean over the last decade Lougheed Mall and Uptown New West both lost their theaters......I'm waiting for Brentwood Mall area to get a theater.....seems like a great location.

Same with Marine Drive station where one would go if the development there goes ahead.

a theatre there will be awesome - take some pressure off metrotown - i agree with brentwood too they need a theatre too

PROSTSHOCKER
Jan 9, 2010, 2:57 PM
I sure hope that theatre is in the same vein as tinseltown and plays movies other than TWILIGHT and AVATAR in all theatres

vanman
Jan 9, 2010, 7:00 PM
^ Check out the website:

http://www.landmarkcinemas.ca/

It looks like they only play mainstream movies.

SpongeG
Jan 9, 2010, 10:16 PM
yah looks like they are the small town cinema provider - tinseltown is cinemark (http://www.cinemark.com/) at least its not another cineplex or empire

flight_from_kamakura
Jan 10, 2010, 1:50 AM
i recently caught "a serious man" at the lumiere landmark cinema in sf, not such a bad cinema. small little operation though, i imagine the new westminster one would be much larger. great news for the area.

hollywoodnorth
Jan 11, 2010, 7:08 AM
i recently caught "a serious man" at the lumiere landmark cinema in sf, not such a bad cinema. small little operation though, i imagine the new westminster one would be much larger. great news for the area.

wrong company ;)

ummmm Landmark Theaters is a US company....Landmark Cinemas is a Canadian Company

allan_kuan
Jan 11, 2010, 9:33 AM
It seems from the images there's no roof to keep the rain off people's heads.

This might not be a problem in say the two or three dry months in the spring and summer... but in all other seasons, inadequate shelter may be a big problem.

Spork
Jan 26, 2010, 3:52 AM
I was just in the bottom level of the parkade today, and it seems that they have put white tarping on the fence that seals off the bottom floor of the parkade from the outside on the mall side. To me, this would seem to mean that they are preparing to resume construction on the mall portion (and they'd damn well better if they plan on finishing by Spring 2011!).

They have also put in trees along the street and installed traffic lights at the Carnarvon St. side of the future bus loop.

There is no progress on the build out of the leased spaces by the future bus loop.

Spork
Jan 27, 2010, 5:31 AM
Indeed, in our elevator today, there was a notice stating that pile driving will recommence starting on February 1st.

red-paladin
Jan 27, 2010, 9:59 AM
Fantastic! I am really looking forward to the retail and station portions.

vanman
Jan 27, 2010, 3:29 PM
Good news!

Stingray2004
Jan 27, 2010, 8:15 PM
http://media.greenradio.topscms.com/images/62/2b/b3bfc1724547ba6b33e757939ae7.jpeg

http://media.greenradio.topscms.com/images/fd/12/518149b9492084c5f715a95d93eb.jpeg

Canada's First Commuter Rail Mall Opening Up In New Westminster
SkyTrain users will be able to do their banking, eat and see a movie

Lyle Fisher Jan 27, 2010 11:40:31 AM

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS1130) - SkyTrain users will soon have a new shopping option in New Westminster. The 200,000 square foot retail space is at the base of three condo towers at 8th and Columbia, which are almost sold out.

Plaza 88 developer, Michael Degelder, doesn't think there's anything like this in North America. "The combination of the residential and the retail allows one to live, work and play in our development. It allows the access to the SkyTrain station."

Along with several restaurants, retail outlets and banking, there will also be a 10-screen movie theatre. The whole project - including the retail space and three towers - is 1.2 million square feet and cost $350 million to build.

http://www.news1130.com/news/local/article/21237--canada-s-first-commuter-rail-mall-opening-up-in-new-westminster

officedweller
Jan 27, 2010, 8:22 PM
Bit of an exaggeration there - but it's a great project...

tybuilding
Jan 27, 2010, 8:32 PM
I thought Metrotown was a commuter mall.

Metro-One
Jan 27, 2010, 8:33 PM
:previous: Metrotown is not built into / around skytrain, it is built beside it (and it needs a new walkway (or two) ASAP!).

officedweller
Jan 27, 2010, 8:35 PM
There are lots of projects in Toronto directly connected to the Subway that would fit the description with residential, retail and offices.

LeftCoaster
Jan 27, 2010, 9:23 PM
^ Or montreal.

This project is slightly different though... being stand alone and purpose built to revolve almost entirely around the station, but certainly as you said quite an exaggeration. Right in line with real-estate marketing though!

Smooth
Jan 27, 2010, 10:21 PM
Wasn't there plans for a 4th building at the west end of the site? Looking at that second picture, it appears that they are planning mid-rise there instead now.