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Late last year, Price Tags reported on the potential sale of Vancouver’s downtown  Hudson’s Bay store, the iconic white terra-cotta building located at the corner of Granville and Georgia Streets.

Built in 1927 the 650,000 square foot building was assessed at $59.7 million, but potential sale prices were suggested to be as high as $900 million.

As reported in the Financial Post  “Canadian department store owner Hudson’s Bay Co and joint venture partner RioCan REIT have signed a conditional agreement to sell HBC’s flagship store in downtown Vancouver for about $675 million (US$524.4 million) to an Asian buyer, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.”

The Hudson’s Bay Company had previously leased their New York City store location to WeWork, a shared workspace business, setting the stage for a suggested change in the ownership (and purpose) for the Vancouver store, which arguably is on one of the most important heritage sites in the city, a block away from the Vancouver Art Gallery, and right beside the Canada Line.

The new buyer owns a real estate company but his or her identity will not be disclosed until the sale is final. “Hudson’s Bay is expected to sign a 20-year lease with the new owner, according to the person familiar with the matter. As part of the WeWork deal, the shared office space operator also agreed to lease the top floors of the Vancouver and other Hudson’s Bay stores.”

The Hudson’s Bay Company has been in Vancouver since 1887, first operating out of a storefront on Pender Street. The current store at Granville and Georgia is a Vancouver landmark.

Does the shifting of the top floors of the Hudson’s Bay store to shared use office show the decline in storefront department store retail?

Will the retail nature of this store — with its 91-year history — be retained?

Or is redevelopment looming for this building?

hudsons-bay-department-store-corner-of-granville-and-west-georgia-streets-vancouver-bc-canada-joe-foxPhoto: Fine Art America