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The Future of Woodward's

Blog by Ian Watt | November 5th, 2006

The Future of Woodward's

The Woodward's building, located in the 100 block of West Hastings in Vancouver, has long played a pivotal role in our city. It once provided food, household goods and employment to many people in the local community and beyond. Today, it is the focus of a neighbourhood's hopes and dreams.

A new beginning

We are currently on a journey to bring the building back to life.

The City of Vancouver purchased the Woodward's building from the Province of BC in March 2003. The City began a unique process to involve the community and other Vancouver residents in designing and planning the redevelopment of the building in a way that is socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.

In September 2004, City Council chose Westbank Projects/Peterson Investment Group (Henriquez Partners, architects) as the developer for the Woodward's project. Learn more about the proposal and meet the design team.


Since Woodward's closed in 1993, the building has sat vacant and several previous attempts to redevelop it failed. It has also been the focus of much debate about what should happen with the site.

Meanwhile, in the immediate neighbourhood, there has been an exodus of legitimate business and a lack of new investment. High unemployment among residents and poverty have resulted in a number of social issues that have unquestionably affected the health and well-being of the community.

Several government and community initiatives over the last few years have started to result in some improvements in the neighbourhood.

However, the redevelopment of the Woodward's building is, both practically and symbolically, key to the revitalization of the Downtown Eastside.