Lululemon's 13-storey plans

Lululemon Athletica outlined its proposal to build a new 13-storey head office on Foley Street in Vancouver during a Sept. 12 open house.

The new building will replace the company’s existing head office on Cornwall Street in Kitsilano, as well as three of its smaller satellite offices in Vancouver. The four offices are currently home to about 2,000 staff, but the company expects that number to grow to 4,000 by 2032.

Lululemon’s rezoning text amendment application is asking for additional height and use permissions.

While the city has a policy that limits rezoning applications during the Broadway corridor planning process, last April council granted Lululemon an exemption so it could proceed. The city’s director of planning recommended the exemption because no additional density is being requested and, as an office building, it advances goals of the recently completed False Creek Flats Area Plan.

If the application is approved following a public hearing, the new 13-storey building will include retail and café/restaurant uses on the ground floor.

Morphosis Architects, led by Thom Mayne and based in California, is the design architect for the project, Francl Architecture is the local architect, Clive Wilkinson Architects is the interior architect and PFS Studio is the landscape architect.

The building, which was “sculpted” to respond to site constraints, includes a central atrium and carved-out areas on its sides that feature greenery and create public spaces.

Robin Williams, project director at Morphosis, said retail and café space on the ground level is intended to help create a “lively and vibrant public realm” along Great Northern Way. The existing CD-1 bylaw doesn’t permit commercial uses on the site.

“[Lululemon doesn’t] want this building to be a nine-to-five area. We really want to create this active street front outside of the typical office hours. We really want to enhance the neighbourhood,” Williams said.

If the planning and approval process goes smoothly, the building could be constructed and occupied by the middle of 2023.

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