Concord Pacific redefines live-work-play model for future developments
With the development of the former Expo Lands beginning in 1988, Concord Pacific not only redefined Vancouver’s skyline, it also helped shift the trajectory of urban design on a global scale. Its transit-oriented, master-planned communities that enhance all aspects of people’s lives, with parks, daycares, fitness facilities, shops, shared amenities, and more have become models for city planners worldwide.
Now as the company itself evolves, it’s breaking new ground when it comes to healthy, sustainable, liveable communities in another forward-thinking way. It’s introducing coworking spaces into forthcoming projects, giving new meaning to the term “working from home.”
For so many contractors, creatives, freelancers, and entrepreneurs, working from home often more accurately means working in a coffee shop or out of a communal space like WeWork.
Coworking spaces appeal to those who are part of the gig economy or don’t have typical office jobs for several reasons. They give people access to meeting spaces, technology like video conferencing, and other resources, while providing the chance to network with like-minded individuals, forging connections that can lead to new business opportunities. Shared, collaborative spaces also do more than address practicalities: crucially, they also provide a sense of community. There’s something to be said for chatting by the water cooler when the isolation of working solo starts to set in.
With Concord Campus, Concord Pacific is incubating coworking into buildings in Toronto and Park George Surrey—the first of its kind in B.C.
Just steps from their front door, residents will be able to walk to Concord Campus to hold private business meetings, join or host videoconferences, connect and brainstorm with others, and more—all while being part of a community, a place where people know their neighbours.
“We develop complex master-planned communities—community and infrastructure—that involve social responsibility: how to create environments that evolve with our users,” says Peter Webb, senior vice-president of development at Concord Pacific. “People are very much interested in living and working at home in whatever way they can. For a long time, homes had study or desk spaces or a home office; that has evolved into finding ways to live at home and have a business at home, reducing the complexity of leaving your home to go to an office then come back again, a disconnect of two lifestyles.
“We’ve started to develop working space with home proximity combined with a socially focused environment,” he adds. “We can blend live, work, play and connection with others all at the same time. Within that connected lifestyle you can create symbiotic relationships with others that can flourish.”
Concord Campus offers 24/7 access, a private video-conference room, a sports and games lounge, a wet bar, and a courtyard barbecue area complete with presentation screen. For independent workers, the convenience and value of a coworking space right in their home complex are unparalleled. There’s no need to commute or pay a membership fee for an office space; the time and money saved can be invested in their business and in nourishing other aspects of their lives.
Concord’s first “neighbourhood” offering with shared work will be part of the new 200 building sites identified in the City of Burnaby’s Metrotown plan. Over half are new sites that will not displace current rental and Concord’s redevelopment at Metrotown falls within this category.
Concord’s Metrotown will be anchored with the provinces tallest tower and will include hundreds of thousands of square-footage of shared work amenity and stratified commercial space that fluidly connects to the neigbourhood.
Concord Pacific also plans to incorporate this new model in Quantum Park, the future planned mixed-use community on the land at the south end of the Burrard Street Bridge that has been home to Molson.
Concord Pacific’s twin tower Seattle House development in downtown Seattle is located just steps from the Amazon Spheres at their Seattle headquarters. There, Concord’s shared work offering will be the largest coworking amenity of its kind in a residential development in North America.
“In the past, the urban lifestyle was having a condo with relaxation-related amenities, but if you were working from home, you’d meet in a Starbucks for a business meeting, which doesn’t present itself in a professional way,” Webb says. “So we put the professional boardroom experience into the common area. There is also the lounge and long tables for a coffee shop-style meeting.
“As a master-plan developer, it’s all about the quality of community that’s generated,” he says. “The community, we realize, is exploring the idea of combining work and play and life all in one place, all at one time.”
Concord Pacific’s approach to a master-planned community is holistic. The company prides itself on more than three decades of building live-work-play communities that emphasize health and well-being, walkability, and green living, all while being connected to transportation hubs and shops and services. At the heart of it all is a balanced lifestyle.
In fact, city planners, architects and urban designers visit Concord Pacific’s presentation centre, with Concord Pacific Place being a model of a cohesive, comprehensive, and curated master-planned community. The City of Vancouver recently earned an American Planning Association award for the planning and design of northeast False Creek.
“The benefits of a master-planned community with daycares, schools, seawall walkways, and parks are highly sustainable environments,” Webb says. “We’re taking it one step further, providing a refuge in the centre of business districts, an escape in the city, with the added element of a flexible, accommodating workspace.
“It’s a fluid lifestyle with the physical infrastructure to live the life you want to live,” he says. “People want a more sustainable approach to their lifestyle and a more sustainable community.”
For more information about Concord Campus and Concord Pacific, please visit concordpacific.com