The Old Vancouver Post Office Shines in Amazon Announcement

By Grant T. Smith


VancouverBusiness in British Columbia is hopping and there is a sense of optimism in downtown, but with the cost of housing we also share a fear for the future and seek comfort that the activity is sustainable.  I was therefore comforted when, on April 30, Amazon made an exciting announcement in Vancouver – 3,000 new jobs in the high-tech sector – in the old post office downtown, which will be redeveloped to support this.


Back in the late 1970’s I worked for two years at the CBC in downtown Vancouver. The CBC building was new and many considered it an eyesore; across the street from it was a parking lot, an unpaved gravel parking lot, where the library is now. Kitty corner to the CBC was the post office. I walked by it every day and  dreamt of working at the Vancouver Playhouse (so much for dreams). The post office was always a favourite of mine because of its solidness that speaks of an earlier time, with more function.


The new building will have two towers built on top of the existing 1958 structure, adding more than 1,000,000 square feet of office space, with Amazon taking 35% of the room, which reports say will increase their employees in BC to 5,000 – that may still be bigger than Clearline in 2023. This is a really exciting announcement for Vancouver as it strives to brand itself as a high tech centre.  It also will help to increase the footprint of the core office area in downtown, pulling it eastward.


As I understand it construction is scheduled to start in 2019 with completion towards the end of 2023, so construction in Vancouver will continue and should give you some comfort that the future is bright. It is reassuring to see that British Columbia, and specifically Vancouver, has long term commitments in the high tech world, bringing strong jobs and new developments. If Amazon is adding new tech jobs in the city then others will follow.


Hey, Tom, should we book the penthouse now, or will we be wanting to build our own tower by then?