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Aside from the curling rink that attracts a few hipsters, Marpole hasn’t had a cool destination spot since the long-gone original White Spot. Bereft of rapid transit, it had become the neighbourhood that time forgot.
Tapped with its revival, architect Gregory Henriquez started at the community’s heart, with the iconic arch-roofed Safeway at 70th and Granville. As part of a two-tower, multi-townhouse and retail project, he crafted it with a dramatic inverted swoop roofline and copper, zinc, and wood cladding. It’s already open, selling un-Safeway-like offerings such as dim sum. . Henriquez, the city’s busiest architect, has been watching the nascent district for a while: “They were getting a preponderance of nail salons,” he says. “There was a need to get real body heat into the neighbourhood in order for Marpole to survive”
Adding to the heat are density-boosting towers (with a 1,940-seat Cineplex theatre) at Cambie and Southwest Marine, the new Milltown Marina (with bar!), a T & T Supermarket, and a Douglas Coupland art installation. All that’s needed is a happening craft brewery and we’ll be heading south Friday nights.