ICBC Headquarters to Be Repurposed into Hundreds of Transit-Accessible Homes

ICBC’s North Vancouver headquarters will be transformed into hundreds of new homes, offering residents access to services, amenities, transit, and the SeaBus.

“Underused areas that are already well-connected to transit and close to services and amenities are the perfect places to build new homes,” said Premier David Eby. “That’s why we’re acquiring land near transit hubs and collaborating with partners to prioritize the needs of the people who live and work in our communities over luxury condos. Our purchase of ICBC’s headquarters will transform the site of a largely empty office building into a thriving community with hundreds of attainable homes for middle-income people.”

The new transit-oriented development next to Lonsdale Quay Market is made possible through an agreement between the BC Transportation Financing Authority, ICBC, and the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (MST Nations).

The waterfront site at 151 Esplanade W. is within the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Peoples. The Province and MST Nations will partner on the redevelopment, working with key stakeholders such as TransLink and the City of North Vancouver. This includes preparing the property for mixed-use residential development and ensuring the development delivers both market and below-market homes, along with amenities and services such as child care, health care, and public spaces. The project is in the early planning stages but is estimated to create several hundred homes.

“For decades, our Nations have had to fight to regain a stake in our traditional territories,” said Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow. “This new partnership approach leads to our governments working together as partners in redevelopment and achieving concrete results in tackling the housing crisis.”

The purchase of this property is part of the Province’s $394-million commitment to deliver 10,000 homes near transit over the next 10 to 15 years. The goal is to acquire land near existing and future transit hubs and transform it into thriving communities with homes and amenities.

“This property is ideal for building homes near a world-class transit hub, where people can easily access daily necessities and use affordable, efficient public transit,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The purchase of this ICBC building and land demonstrates our commitment to finding creative solutions to address the province’s housing shortage.”

Squamish Nation spokesperson Sxwixwtn Wilson Williams said, “We raise our hands to the Province’s approach of seeking First Nations as true partners in this unique development. This is an important part of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh shared territory, and we welcome the opportunity to deliver housing that serves our members and the public as a whole.”

ICBC’s hybrid work model has resulted in the 27,870-square-metre (300,000 square feet) North Vancouver headquarters operating at less than half capacity on most days. Consequently, ICBC has secured a 15-year lease to move its headquarters to 2150 Keith Dr., adjacent to the VCC Clark SkyTrain station.

“It’s been an honor to be part of the Lower Lonsdale community as it has grown and thrived over the past 40 years,” said David Wong, CEO of ICBC. “We’re pleased to have worked with the Province on the sale of our head office and now look forward to moving to our new location in Vancouver’s False Creek Flats neighborhood.”

This is the third transit-oriented development the Province has announced in recent months, following projects in Port Moody and Saanich. All three projects are made possible by 2022 amendments to the Transportation Act, allowing the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to acquire land near transit hubs to develop housing and amenities, helping to create vibrant communities.

“I want to thank the Premier and his team for ensuring the MST Nations are respected and included as decision-makers on this project,” said Tsleil-Waututh Nation Chief Jen Thomas. “I have no doubt that we will build something beautiful on this property. When we work together in partnership to solve common problems for all the people we represent, it is already a beautiful result.

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