The Woodwards Building is Reviving the Downtown Eastside

What was old is new again

The Woodward's building was an historic building in the Downtown Vancouver. The original portion of the building was constructed in 1903 for the Woodward's Department Store when that area of Cordova Street was the heart of Vancouver's retail shopping district. At one time this was the premiere shopping destination in Vancouver. The store was famous for its Christmas window displays and its basement Food Floor, and the "W" sign at the top of the building was a distinctive landmark on the Vancouver skyline. Since the bankruptcy of Woodward's in 1993 the building remained vacant.

New construction on the Woodward's site

In 1995 the building was acquired by Fama Holdings. The firm developed a plan to build private housing in the building. However, many of those in the neighbourhood strongly objected, as it was felt to be important that the project incorporate social housing. In 2001 the province bought the building from Fama for $22 million. A variety of options were pursued to develop the building.

In 2003 the City of Vancouver led by Jim Green purchased the building from the province for $5 million, and began a public consultation process, asking the community what they wanted from the redevelopment. After a two stage competition between three developers in September 2004 the city selected Westbank Projects/Peterson Investment Group to develop and Gregory Henriquez of Henriquez Partners Architects to lead the design of the new buildings, with Glotman Simpson as the Structural Engineers.

The 400 million dollar project includes 536 market housing units, 125 singles non-market housing units to be operated by PHS Community Services, 75 family non-market housing units to be operated by Affordable Housing Society, Nesters Food Store and London Drugs, TD Canada Trust, The National Film Board of Canada and civic offices, a daycare, public atrium and plaza, and a new addition to the Simon Fraser University downtown campus: the 130,000 SqFt. School for Contemporary Arts.

The "W" neon sign, which topped the building on the Eiffel Tower replica, was removed before the demolition and was replicated.

The Woodward's Development

The Woodward's development is located on the edge of Gastown and near Chinatown, International Village (Tinseltown) and is walking distance to two Skytrain stations. Woodward's is a collection of modern living enviroments. There are four distinct buildings surrounded by public spaces and urban parks and built upon a podium of vibrant retail: the W43 building (Residences and Club W), the W32 building (Residences), the 1908 Heritage Building (Retail, Offices, Daycare Centre) and SFU (School of the Contemporary Arts). Surrounded by green spaces, theatres, galleries, shops and cafes. The suites in W43 range in size from 562 SqFt - 1969 SqFt. The suites in W32 range in size from 571 SqFt - 2465 SqFt. Each suite has high internet and a graphic design on the outside door.

Woodward's W-43 and W-32 Condos for Sale

For MLS listing in the Woodwards Buildings, click here or give us a contact us for more information. For additional information on the Woodward's neighbourhood, we recommend the Woodwards Mile Blog.

W-43 and W-32 Features


  • Solid reinforced concrete
  • Floor-to-ceiling aluminum windows
  • Double-glazed windows
  • Landscaping throughout
  • Outdoor urban plaza


  • Lounge with large wall-mounted flat screen TV and DVD player
  • Study area
  • Dining and recreational area
  • Library
  • Indoor/outdoor kitchen and banquet-style dining table for use be residents
  • Club W fitness centre


  • 24/7 full-time security staff
  • Full-time resident caretaker
  • Electronic access control system for entry to the residential buildings
  • 24-hour digital video recording surveillance
  • Video entry system
  • Restricted floor access elevators


  • Off-street dropo-off/pick-up with entrance to underground parking
  • Secured underground parking
  • One bicycle storage locker per suite
  • Car sharing program available


  • Over-height ceilings
  • Large sliding doors to bedrooms
  • Roller blind window shades


  • European cabinets
  • Self-closing cabinet drawers
  • Built-in under-cabinet lighting
  • Polished stone slab countertop
  • Glass feature wall
  • Stainless steel under counter sink


  • Stainless steel four-burner gas cook top
  • Stainless steel electric wall oven
  • Stainless steel dishwasher
  • Stainless steel microwave/hood
  • Bottom freezer refrigerator
  • Stacked washer and dryer


  • Wall-hung vanity cabinet
  • Stone slab countertop
  • Oversized porcelain tiles on floors and walls
  • Glass-tiles feature walls in master bathrooms
  • Custom designed tub
  • Frameless fixed-glass panel to shower stall
  • Semi-recessed basin in vanity

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