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Commercial Real Estate: The Stack breaks ground on Melville

By Evan Duggan for Vancouver Sun

Architect James Cheng didn’t feel confident with his earliest drawings of The Stack, a new 36-storey office tower being built at 1133 Melville St. on the western edge of downtown Vancouver’s financial district.

“When I first sketched up the stacked boxes, I thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to get fired,’” he laughed, while speaking with Postmedia at the official groundbreaking of the 540,000-square-feet twisting four-box tower by Oxford Properties and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

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His fears were doused when the developers and other stakeholders saw his drawings, said Cheng, the founder of James K.M. Cheng Architects.

Oxford knew they wanted something different.

“They said, ‘We want to start thinking about … the future of office buildings,’” he said.

Cheng designed what he called “a crazy office building.” Vancouver has historically suffered from nondescript office towers that rise as singular square shafts, he said.

“Everybody shared the same concerns and they were all looking to see where Vancouver could evolve,” he said.

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