Woodward’s opens its doors - Metro US

Woodward’s opens its doors

How do you top a massive housing development that has been hailed as a “model of inclusivity” and leading a “rebirth of the Downtown Eastside?”

How about a W-shaped hot tub?

The tub, unfinished and wrapped in a heavy clear plastic on Thursday, sits atop the 43-storey residential W-tower of Vancouver’s Woodward’s development.

“I’m looking forward to visiting my friends at the Woodward’s building to check out that hot tub,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson, following a preview of the development.

The open communal roof, or Club W, features a rock-climbing wall, a gym, a kitchen, a barbecue and a TV room set against unobstructed views of the city, Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains.

The Woodward’s development, which began with the city’s purchase of the old department store in 2003 (following high-profile homeless squats in the building), features 536 market housing units and 200 non-market units.

The development will house Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts, office space, gardens, an outdoor plaza, a daycare, a bank, a London Drugs and a grocery store.

Architect Gregory Henriquez called the $3.3-million development “one of the most complex mixed-use projects in the history of North America.”

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