Landlord, QuadReal, has announced that The Joseph Richard Group will be the operator of the new food hall that will be opening at The Post in downtown Vancouver in the fall of 2023. The food hall will join other retail tenants at The Post as well as an office complex leased by Amazon.
The 26,000-square-foot food hall will act as an attraction for those in the downtown core and will be a first of its kind for the city. It is expected to attract office workers, students and other visitors to the downtown core as well as a nearby residential population that live in condominium apartment towers.
The food hall will include a mix of full-service, sit-down, and quick-service restaurants. QuadReal said in a statement that it will be “an experience unique to Canada”.
The Post, which is considered to be one of the most ambitious heritage redevelopments in Canadian history, involves the redevelopment of the massive full-block downtown Vancouver Canada Post distribution centre building at 349 W. Georgia Street. The commercial podium at The Post will encompass about 185,000 square feet. Other confirmed retail tenants include a 50,000-square-foot Loblaws City Market as well as Deville Coffee and Vancouver-based Buro The Espresso Bar.
The office component above the retail podium will house about 1.13 million square feet that has been entirely leased to Seattle-based Amazon.
“I think our commitment to this project, especially at this time, should speak to our confidence that this sector will rebound as will Vancouver’s downtown core,” says Ryan “Richard” Moreno, CEO and co-founder of The Joseph Richard Group. “As with any of our venues, guests can expect unique experiences which include top-quality offerings, notable talent and uncompromising commitment to every guest.”
The Joseph Richard Group, based in Surrey BC, runs unique hospitality ventures owned by André “Joseph” Bourque and Ryan “Richard” Moreno. The company operates 25 establishments including Townhall Public Houses, Oak & Thorne, The Henry, The Buck & Ear, Livelyhood S+L Kitchen & Bar, The Italian Osteria & Cheesebar, Blank Canvas Catering, and Glass House Estate Winery. The Joseph Richard Group was recently recognized as British Columbia’s Fastest Growing Hospitality company and it was nominated in 2017 for Ernst & Young’s Top Employer Award.
Food and beverage will be important components to The Post, as will the highly anticipated new grocery store. The Loblaw CityMarket will feature a considerable assortment of grab-and-go items as well as fresh meat, produce and bakery items, a cafe, a brew pub and cooking classes. It will be the largest grocery store in downtown Vancouver and will feature an entrance on Homer Street. It will be the fourth Loblaw CityMarket in the Vancouver area.
Two large restaurants will occupy a combined 20,000 square feet and will face onto West Georgia Street — one of the restaurants will span two levels, and both will feature expansive south-facing outdoor patios.
Life will hopefully get back to normal as the pandemic is hopefully resolved by 2023. Being in relatively close proximity to theatre and sporting facilities, The Post will offer amenities for visitors to the downtown core. The food hall, for example, could become a destination before or after a hockey game or event at the nearby Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The main branch of the Vancouver Public Library is close by as are draws such as CF Pacific Centre which is anchored by flagships for Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew, as well as being adjacent to Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship.
Built in 1958, the cavernous Canada Post building is located on a full city block in the heart of Crosstown, an area that’s becoming a significant employment and cultural centre for the city, as mandated in zoning. As a result, in several years the area will be surrounded by several major new commercial developments. Nearby as well, 3.6 million square feet of residential growth is expected to see the addition of 5,300 residential units.
The Post’s expansive office floor plates are desirable for tech firms such as Amazon, and the building will also feature amenities such as rooftop sports fields that can be used for volleyball, basketball, and soccer. Office floor plates in the south tower will span about 33,000 square feet, with 36,000 square feet for floor plates in the north tower. Super-plates directly above the retail podium will span an impressive 110,000 square feet, which will be the largest in the city when completed. The Post will also become the largest single office building project in Vancouver’s history.
Andy Clydesdale, QuadReal’s Executive Vice President, Retail, noted in an earlier interview that the project will respect and preserve the Canada Post building’s heritage and architectural features through sustainable and adaptive reuse, with a goal to re-establish the property as a signature landmark that will “deliver welcoming and beautiful gathering places”. The Post will also offer co-working spaces, technology incubators, experimental food and beverage retail, educational spaces, networking events, and more will be announced as the project progresses.