The Mark (and Karis Place)

Karis & Mark

We’ve seen Karis Place looking from the north. Here it is from the south, with the lower part of The Mark, a 41 storey tower that’s just reaching completion in the foreground. The tower has a substantial eight storey podium with a childcare included to justify an increased tower height and density.

As we’ve noted before, most of Downtown South was unremarkable one and two storey commercial buildings – and this site was no exception. What marked it out was the presence of Sundance Trampolines, who had a mural and trampoline on the roof of their building parallel with the deck of the Seymour Street offramp from the Granville Bridge.

Before image 2008; after image 2013


Skwachàys Healing Lodge & Residence – 31 West Pender Street

Pender HotelThe Pender hotel was one of over 20 Downtown Single Room Occupancy hotels bought by the Provincial Government in the past few years to help stabilise the supply of non-market housing in Vancouver’s Downtown. The Pender was the one structure that wasn’t worth repairing – the building was in such a poor state that demolition was the only option. The W T Whiteway designed facade was propped up, and a new building inserted behind, designed by Joe Wai.

The $12.2 million development offers 24 apartments of supportive housing for homeless people or those in danger of becoming homeless. In addition, the building includes 13 “healing lodge” apartments that provide 20 beds for aboriginal people traveling from rural communities to Vancouver for medical services. On top there’s a totem pole carved by Francis Horne Sr., whose traditional name is Khut-Whee-Mul-Uhk..On the main floor there’s an aboriginal art gallery, with a basement workshop.

Built in 1913 for Storey and Campbell, it was a residential building initially known as the Palmer Rooms over retail on the ground level. The building remained was purchased by Lai Hing who lived in the building and operated a hotel business as the Wingate Hotel for about 30 years, when the Pender Hotel name was used.

Before image 2010; after image 2012.