Block 10 Development
Block 10, informally known as Heritage Square, is an undeveloped city block located in the heart of downtown Vancouver. It is one of the last remaining undeveloped blocks in the downtown area.
Just under one acre in size, Block 10 is located between Columbia and Washington streets and 8th and 9th streets.
In May 2016, the City publicly requested proposals from developers interested in purchasing and developing Block 10. The Vancouver City Center Vision and Subarea Plan, developed in 2007, envisions housing or offices with a mix of active services on the first floor such as restaurants, coffee shops, brew pubs, a grocery store or other retail.
The City received three proposals, one of which was eventually withdrawn. In April 2017, the Vancouver City Council directed Community and Economic Development Department staff to begin negotiations with Gramor Development on the proposal they submitted.
The proposal from Gramor Development includes a 250-unit apartment building with a 30,000-square-foot grocery store on the main level, plus space for other retail stores. Parking would be provided in both underground and above-ground facilities.
The other proposal from LSW Architects included a Vancouver Public Schools school of arts and innovation for kindergarten through fifth grade students, as well as urban office space and other uses.
“Gramor’s proposal aligned better with the city’s goals for downtown development—addressing needs for additional housing and a grocery store,” said the city’s Economic Development Manager Teresa Brum. “However, we also recognize the need for more public school facilities on the west side and plan to work with LSW Architects to identify other potential locations for that project.”
The city anticipates negotiations with Gramor Development about specific aspects of project will take several months to complete. The final disposition and development agreement with Gramor Development would then go before the Vancouver City Council for formal approval later in 2017.
History of Block 10
The City of Vancouver purchased Block 10, along with four other city blocks, from the General Brewery Company, Inc. in 1993. The City fenced off the property and demolished all the buildings on the site in 1994-95.
In 2012, the Vancouver City Council voted to approve allowing the Vancouver Downtown Association (VDA) to develop and maintain a temporary public park on the site. Thanks to a $20,000 donation from the VDA and the hard work of many volunteers, gravel pathways, flowers and shrubs, historic interpretive and decorative elements and public art were added to Block 10.
In July 2013, the fencing was removed and Block 10 was reopened to public use. Since then, it has been the location of several public events and has been used as a staging area for large events held in Esther Short Park.