BI Group, on behalf of Providence Health Care, has submitted a rezoning application to the City of Vancouver for the new St. Paul’s Hospital development destined for an 18.5-acre site in False Creek Flats.
Vancouver city council approved a policy statement for the property at 1002 Station St. and 250 to 310 Prior St. in June of 2017.
The rezoning proposal, filed earlier this month, includes a new hospital and integrated health care campus, retail and commercial space, a hotel, two childcare facilities and a new road network. The rezoning process is expected to take more than a year. It will include public consultation, which is expected to begin this fall and continue through next spring, and reviews by the Urban Design Panel and city staff. The application will be subject to council approval following a public hearing.
Providence Health Care (PHC) announced in April of 2015 that the aging St. Paul’s Hospital on Burrard Street would be replaced by a new state-of-the-art hospital and health care facility.
Estimates for the project, which have circulated in the news for several years, have pegged it at $1.2 billion, but PHC spokesman Shaf Hussain said that figure is wrong and a cost estimate has never been part of any official announcement. He said a final figure hasn’t been finalized yet. The provincial government is currently reviewing the business plan.
Providence Health Care, however, plans to eventually sell the land where St. Paul’s is currently located and invest the money into the construction of the project, while the provincial government under Christy Clark committed $500 million towards it in 2012. PHC also plans to raise funds through St. Paul’s Foundation. The foundation hasn’t officially launched its capital campaign, but billionaire Jimmy Pattison announced in 2017 he would give $75 million for the new hospital.
Early design concepts for the site, which still need to be refined, are included in the rezoning application package. Building heights will range from approximately 20 metres to 60 metres. The hospital and integrated health care campus is situated in the centre of the site, while townhouse and retail space is proposed for a small chunk of land to its north by Prior Street. Office and retail space, as well as a hotel, is envisioned along Station Street and National Avenue. Research and professional buildings are also proposed along National Avenue.
“These are early concepts. We need to do more consultation,” Hussain said. “The city needs to do more consultation.”
Outside of the rezoning proposal, Hussain said St. Paul’s Hospital and PHC have been doing a lot of work on the clinical planning part of the project — what goes in the hospital, what clinics are needed, what’s the movement of patients, what are the right locations for programs and services to make it work well for patients, and what technology will be needed.
“When it comes to the rezoning, this is a process the city leads and we work closely with them,” he said.
The target for completing the hospital is 2024. Other development on the site may be completed in a similar timeframe to the hospital, according to the application, which states the overall development will take place in three phases.
“We hope that a new hospital helps rejuvenate [the area.]," Hussain said. "The city has a great plan for False Creek Flats. This is going to be a major development in that area but we are going to make sure we work closely with the city and the neighbourhood to make sure it’s integrated well into the future plans of the neighbourhood.”