Dan Fumano: 17-storey rental tower envisioned for Army & Navy DTES redevelopment
Two prominent family-run Vancouver businesses are partnering to pitch towers of up to 17 storeys above the old Army & Navy department store location, bringing taller buildings, more people, and a different kind of development than the historic but troubled neighbourhood has recently seen.
The project is being spearheaded by Jacqui Cohen, CEO of Army & Navy Properties, and Bosa Properties CEO Colin Bosa. The partnership proposes to redevelop Army & Navy’s flagship location spread over two Downtown Eastside blocks intersected by an alley between Hastings and Cordova. Cohen’s grandfather opened a store at this location in 1919, which operated for a century and grew into a retail chain with other locations.
In May 2020, Cohen announced the Army & Navy stores would permanently cease operations, citing financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, the mixed residential-office-and-retail redevelopment of the company’s Downtown Eastside location, which includes heritage-designated historically significant buildings, has been dubbed The Cohen Block.
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