Vancouver-based developer, Image Development Inc., has completed what it is calling “one of the city’s most recycled buildings on Commercial Drive.” Marquee on the Drive, a low-rise development, transforms the old Van East Cinema, originally designed by Bruno Freschi, the architect behind Expo ’86 and Science World, into a modern 58-unit mixed residential condominium that builds on the fabric of the storied neighbourhood.
“Marquee truly is a new standard for redevelopment in Vancouver,” said James Askew, president of rareEarth Project Marketing. “It’s all too common for character buildings to be bulldozed down in place of brand new high rise developments that can strip away the soul of a neighbourhood. At Marquee we saw the potential the Van East Cinema held, with its original brick and steel and prime location. No other development in the city has taken a building this young and refurbished it back into its community as something new that still holds meaning.”
Designed by Vancouver-based architects Ankenman/Marchand, the condo reuses more than 75 per cent of the building’s previous structure, including its brick façade, steel and concrete to create a dichotomy between the old and new. Keeping in line with its sustainable build, Marquee has incorporated Modo’s car share program into the building, fitted electric car-charging stations, a spacious bike room, and convenient access to public transportation.
“Commercial Drive is a unique microcosm of Vancouver, it’s what makes it so attractive to families and first time homebuyers,” said Timothy Ankenman, lead architect from Ankenman/Marchand. “There are very few opportunities for new condo developments on Commercial Drive; we saw the redevelopment of this space as an opportunity to show the community that a new building can be incorporated without sacrificing the spirit of the ‘Drive’.”