This morning it was announced that Sears was closing its downtown Vancouver location, along with others in Calgary and Ottawa, by October 31st [News1130]. While rumours are flying about what will move into the Pacific Centre Sears spot, which they took over from Eaton’s back in 1999, my immediately reaction was that now we can finally do something about that building.
Bordering Georgia, Howe, Granville, and Robson, its blank stone walls lock out the public and offer one of the most unwelcoming sidewalk views in the city. A few years ago many talked about projections and artwork to liven up the building and during the Olympics, the broadcast projection was rather successful.
The TD Tower and the adjacent Eaton’s (Sears) building, as a part of Pacific Centre, actually sit on the site of the first and second iterations of the Hotel Vancouver.
The second Hotel Vancouver stayed at that spot until 1939, when the hotel as we know it today opened up on Burrard and Georgia.
After the second Hotel Vancouver was demolished, Georgia at Granville became nothing but a parking lot until the Pacific Centre development began.
In the late 1960s, Eaton’s Department store moved from Hastings (where SFU’s Harbour Centre campus is now) to the brand new Pacific Centre Mall location [Source].
Now that a new tenant will be moving in, Cadillac Fairview could take advantage of this opportunity to provide street-level access, bring in more foot traffic, and even open up sidewalk-level retailers around the perimeter.
I’d love to know your thoughts. Would you like something to be done with the building now that it will be undergoing a tenant transition?
Update July 19, 2012: CTV News confirmed that Nordstrom will be moving in.