825 Pacific

Located in Vancouver’s downtown south, 825 Pacific includes 24 units of non-market work spaces suitable for low-intensity material production (zoned for Class A artist studios) and non-profit administrative spaces. The building is owned by the City of Vancouver and operated by 221A on a 60-year lease agreement.

Key Features

825 Pacific Street

  • Target occupancy start for tenanting is May 1, 2023 (subject to change based on construction timing).
  • Seven-storey purpose-built building for arts and cultural developed as part of the City of Vancouver's Community Amenity Contribution program.
  • The building is the first certified commercial Passive House development with up to 90% in reduced energy output.
  • 221A holds a 60-year lease on the premises, and recently completed a $2.3M tenant improvements through support of the City of Vancouver, through the BC Arts Council, Canadian Heritage, and the joint Provincial and Federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).
  • The building has a total occupancy of 180 people, which includes 24 non-market (non-residential) rental units for artists and/or non-profit office use, where all units have natural light and ceiling heights range from 8–12’.

Submit an inquiry

Submission Assistance

To ensure the participation of people living with disabilities, people who do not have access to specific technology, and/or people who otherwise require assistance, staff will offer telephone or in-person assistance for the completion of the following forms and documentation as well as to support participation in site tours and orientation. Please contact Carmut Me at cme@221a.ca to arrange for assistance. 

Eligibility

Eligibility for the work spaces at 825 Pacific are as follows:

Individuals must: 

  • be an Artist;
  • be the age of majority;
  • be living in BC; and
  • intend on using the premises in a manner that is compatible with facility purposes and capacity (see allowable use)

Cultural nonprofits or small cultural businesses must:

Allowable use

The 825 premises is intended to function as a non-market, shared multi-purpose arts and culture hub, with presentation, production (suitable for Artist Studio - Class A activities, which do not involve industrial processes or amplified sound), and office space for multiple artists and cultural practitioners who are Vancouver-based and/or community members of the Musqueam, Squamish or Tsleil-Waututh Nations, and Vancouver-based non-profit arts and culture organizational use.

Accepting Inquiries (Occupancy May 2023)

Artists, cultural non-profits and small cultural businesses interested in subleasing space at 825 Pacific are invited to submit an inquiry. (May 1, 2023 is the current target date and is subject to change based on construction timing.)


Info Session and Tour on February 25, 2023, 11 AM

Register for an info session and tour of the facility on February 25, 2023 at 11AM. Additional tours may be arranged for prospective subtenants, please contact Carmut Me at cme@221a.ca.


Rental units

The 24 office and artist studio units at 825 Pacific include:

  • Occupancy start for tenanting is May 1, 2023 (subject to change based on construction timing)
  • Access by enterphone and keyfob
  • All units have natural light and ceiling heights range from 8–12’.
  • 24 units for artists and/or non-profit office use (L2 to L6)
  • Monthly rents range from $500 to $6,071 (incl. common area costs, taxes, and maintenance fees)
  • Unit sizes range from 132 to 2,005 square feet
  • Secured lobby with water-bottle refill station
  • Accessible bathrooms on all floors (change stations on L1)
  • Secure bicycle parking (Lower Level)
  • Rentable secure storage lockers (Lower Level)
  • Rent includes bookable meeting room (10-12 person on L2)

Accessibility

  • The front entrance to the building is wheelchair accessible
  • The elevator is wheelchair accessible and centrally located
  • Two accessible bathrooms are located on the ground floor
  • Single stall, accessible, gender neutral bathrooms are located on floors 2-7
  • Two double stall bathrooms with accessible showers are located on the basement floor
  • Services animals are welcome in the building
  • An emergency power supply on all power operated doors
  • Areas of refuge on each floor

Unit types

The following table is for illustrative purposes only. Inquire above for up-to-date studio availability.

Unit TypeNo. of UnitsUnique FeaturesUnit Square FootageCommon Area*Monthly Rental Rate**
A7Corner units (windows on 2 or 3 sides)134 to 39369%$588 to $1,725
B2Two windows, or corner with pillar227 to 44969%$928 to $1,835
C14One window132 to 19169%$500 to $723
F1Shared Level 2, over-height ceilings501 to 2,00569%$1,518 to $6,071
*Proportionate common area is calculated using BOMA 2017 standards, which includes the building circulation, common amenities and service areas, minus rentable exclusions such as: rented storage areas, staircases, elevator, and other major vertical penetrations. Total rentable area includes both unit square footage and proportionate common areas.  **Monthly rental rate is the gross rental rates. As opposed to a net or triple net lease, where a tenant pays "additional rent" to cover operating costs and taxes, a gross lease is where the tenant pays rent to the landlord as a gross amount and is not required to pay additional rent to the landlord to cover expenses related to the leased premises.

Rental terms

  • Rental rate is based on factors such as square footage, condition and features of the space.
  • Units are subleased on a 1-year term and may be longer on a case-by-case basis
  • A one-month security deposit is required
  • Tenants must follow 221A’s hazardous materials policy
  • Sub-tenants are required to carry $5M general liability insurance. 221A has made arrangements with The Cooperators to provide an opt-in program of insurance certificates specific to the building at a reduced price, approx. $300 per year. Those who do not opt-in will be expected to provide proof of insurance.
  • Included in rent: BC hydro, Fortis gas, water and sewage, shared Telus PureFiber internet, headlease rent, property taxes, waste/recycling, cleaning services (common areas), interior and exterior building maintenance, fire system and emergency generator, tenancy arrangements, and administration.
  • No GST on rent as 221A is a registered Canadian charitable organization and is exempt from collecting GST on real property. 

Shared floor on Level 2

In addition to the rent terms described above, the building includes a shared co-location space on Level 2. This floor is designated for use between 2 and 6 non-profit organizations for office purposes. The space is zoned for assembly use and can allow for cultural events and activities. The space has a dedicated small meeting room, as well as access to a larger shared meeting space. Please inquire if you would be interested in Level 2.

Above: 825 Pacific interior photo

Building amenities

  • Bookable Meeting Room – Building tenants have access to a bookable 235 sq ft / 10-12 person meeting room located on L2.
  • Secured Lobby Area – common foyer to the building, access to bathrooms, and reception for events. A drinking/water bottle refill station is located on the ground floor adjacent to the elevators for all building users.
  • Washout Sinks – A washout sink with a sediment catchment is on each floor. 
  • Lunch Areas A lunch area is provided on each floor that includes seating, and cabinetry, a kettle, microwave and fridge.
  • Bathrooms – A universal bathroom is located on each floor of the building. Two bathrooms located on the ground floor are designated for public-facing/guest use.  A total of 10 wheel-chair accessible bathrooms are located within the premises.  
  • Showers Two bathrooms on the basement floor are designed as an amenity to support bicycle use and include a total of four shower stalls.
  • Bicycle Parking – Shared bicycle parking area includes 11 bicycle parking spots on a first-come, first-served basis 
  • Lockers – Lockers are provided on the basement floor for rental use for personal belongings. Designated day lockers are available for use for free.
  • Storage Units – 24 small storage units are available for rental use by tenants.
  • Loading – one Class B loading space located at the front entrance of the building
Above: illustration showing the passive house energy model.
  • Passive House Certification –  The 825 Pacific project was certified to the Passive House standard, and uses no fossil fuels, to meet the City of Vancouver's commitment to build all new City owned buildings to achieve near zero emissions in operation reduces overall energy by up to 90%.
  • Building utilities – Fire alarm and sprinkler system, keyfob and enterphone access, security and communications, recycling and waste management, and a backup generator.

Event space at 825

825 Pacific features a dedicated, high quality, 60-person occupancy cultural venue for public talks, workshops, film screenings, food-based gatherings, performances, presentations, and temporary art installations by 221A and likeminded non-profit organizations and community groups. The event space is intended to be used for cultural activities that are non-profit in nature and that pay artists fairly, through professional fee standards such as CARFAC minimum fee schedule or equivalent standards. 221A is currently in the process of developing further guidelines for the event space, including sliding scale rates. Please get in touch if you are interested in learning more. 


Fellowships at 825

221A’s Fellowship Program is a 18-month studio placement program at 825 Pacific in three designated units. Fellows at 825 receive a living-wage stipend and a dedicated studio space at 825 Pacific Street, and are anticipated to have a day-to-day presence in the building, contribute to the 221A's Library collection, and develop a project that includes multiple public outputs. An open call for Fellowship nominations will be made in Summer 2023. For more information please visit the Fellows page.

Above: Photo of field research by a participant as part of Yu Su's, Fellowship from 2017–18. Kaifeng-born Yu Su comes from a classical piano background and works as a sound artist and music composer in Vancouver. She produces musical manipulation of dub appliqué, presenting an extensive study on acoustic electronica, cultural exchange, and an ongoing response to the history of “ambient music.”

Library at 825

In 2017, 221A began a collection of books and artworks at 221 E Georgia Street. In 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic emerged, the Society closed its library facility in Chinatown. In 2023, 221A is pleased to re-house its library collection at 825 Pacific in unit 306. The space will be operated by 221A with a growing collection of acquisitions in addition to items acquired during the library beginnings in Chinatown. Link to Library page.

Above: Items from 221A's library collection.

FAQ

Eligibility and tenanting

1. Are there residential or live-work units at 825 Pacific?

No. All units are work-only rental units for office or administrative use, or artist studios and arts production use.

2. How does 221A define who is an Artist?

221A defines an Artist as someone who has developed skills through training (not necessarily in an academic institution) or practice in any creative discipline, is recognized by Artists working in the same artistic practice, has a history of public presentation or publication, seeks payment for their work, and actively practices their art. This can include—but is not limited to—:

  • Someone who works or is skilled in any of the fine arts, including but not limited to, painting, drawing, sculpture, literary, calligraphy, printmaking and mixed-media.
  • Someone who creates imaginative works, including but not limited to literature, poetry, photography, music composition, choreography, architecture, video game designers, film and video.
  • Someone who creates functional art, including but not limited to jewellery, rugs, decorative screens, lighting, furniture, pottery.
  • A performer, including but not limited to, musicians, singers, dancers, actors, performance artists.
  • Someone who practices culturally-specific forms of art or craft, including but not limited to Indigenous language, weaving, carving, knowledge transmission through storytelling.
  • Someone who organizes cultural activities including cultural workers and curators.
  • Someone involved in culturally significant practices, including culture bearer or practitioner, designer, technician, tattoo artist, hairdresser, chef/culinary artist, craftsperson, cultural workers dedicated to using their expertise within the community to support, promote, present, and/or teach and propagate their art form through events, activities, performance and classes.

3. How does 221A define who is a non-profit cultural organization or small cultural business?

221A defines a “Non-Profit Cultural Organization” as an incorporated or unincorporated organization that includes as its primary objectives the non-profit creation and/or presentation of artistic or cultural practices or educational activities associated with the creation or presentation of artistic or cultural practices. 

221A defines a “Small Cultural Business” as a for-profit business that has five (5) or less full-time equivalent staff/personnel and has the primary objectives as the creation and/or presentation of artistic or cultural practices/trades or educational activities associated with the creation or presentation of artistic or cultural practices/trades.

4. How are tenants selected?

Tenants are selected through an open process based on the eligibility guidelines of the premises. Where there are multiple eligible parties, submissions will be ranked by staff or a selection committee based on:

  • Alignment with 221A vision and values
  • Quality of artistic practice and impact on career, and 
  • Impact on field and community. 

Priority is given to people who are from communities that are historically excluded from access to cultural spaces, which may include:

  • Black people or people of African descent
  • Deaf and hard of hearing people
  • Disabled people or people who live with mental health challenges
  • Low-income people
  • LGBTQ2+ and gender diverse people
  • Host nations Indigenous people (Musqueam, Squamish, or Tsleil-waututh people)
  • Indigenous peoples (of Canada)
  • Indigenous peoples (outside of Canada)
  • Racialized people
  • Refugees, newcomers, and undocumented people
  • Seniors
  • Women and girls
  • Youth

Additional information may be requested by the staff to support ranking of the applications. 

5. Do I get to choose which unit I want?

Prospective tenants can indicate their preferences and space needs through the inquiry form to help us suggest which units fit your needs. We will then arrange tours for you to view unit(s). If there are competing submissions for a unit, 221A will use the selection and ranking criteria above to determine the order of lease offers.

6. What if I would like a lease that is longer than 1 year?

Leases longer than 1 year will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Leases longer than 3-years will require additional approval from 221A's the Board of Directors.

Rent and additional costs

7. What is included in the rent?

The rental rates cover the majority of costs for the function of the facility, such as day-to-day and planned long-term maintenance and proportional common area costs. This includes: BC hydro, Fortis gas, water and sewage, shared Telus PureFiber internet, headlease rent, property taxes, waste/recycling, cleaning services (common areas), interior and exterior building maintenance, fire system and emergency generator, tenancy arrangements, and administration. It also includes access to the shared meeting room.

8. What is not included in the rent that tenants should expect to pay?

Tenants are also responsible for insurance and expenses related to tenants own practice/operations, cleanliness, supplies and furnishings. Tenants will be required to carry Commercial General Liability Insurance. CGL insurance provides basic coverage for businesses and can cost upwards of $1,500 per annum. 221A anticipates having in place an insurance certificate that can be purchased at a lower rate. In the past, 221A has been able to provide these certificates for approximately $300 per year per studio. If tenants require additional storage outside of their unit, storage units are also available for rent on a monthly basis. 

9. How are the rental rates set?

The rental rates are set by 221A on a cost-recovery basis, where rates are expected to cover minimum operating costs of the premises, which includes all modern building operations from insurance, licensing, utility costs, cleaning, and waste management, to elevator, HVAC, and backup generator maintenance, and also includes a maintenance reserve for long-term capital replacement of building systems. Rental rates are cross-checked against affordability data and in consideration of unit quality compared to other non-market facilities within the city. 

10. How is rent collected?

Tenants enter into a Pre-Authorized Debit Agreement with 221A, which withdraws monthly rent payments directly from Subtenants’ bank accounts.

11. What happens if a tenant is unable to pay their rent?

221A has an Emergency Assistance Fund used to support tenants facing financial hardship. Tenants must meet certain requirements such as emergency health or financial hardship to be able to receive rental assistance from the Emergency Assistance Fund.

Use of premises and amenities

12. What are the operating hours of the building?

The building is accessible 24/7 by key fob and using an enterphone.

13. Can I have guests come to my studio?

Yes. Tenants may have guests. Tenants are responsible for their guests, especially considering any activity in shared Common Areas and spaces outside of their unit.

14. What art practices are allowed?

825 Pacific Street accommodates ‘clean’ practices. During the tenant screening process we will inquire with the applicant what materials are involved in the making of their practice, especially concerning scent and noise levels pertaining to tool use and general foot traffic within the space. 221A provides the applicant with a Hazardous Materials Policy Manual as part of the on-boarding process, to declare any potential toxic materials used in their practice so that we can make recommendations for proper disposal and safety measures.

15. Am I allowed to make alterations to my unit?

Any permanent or potentially permanent alteration, including, but not limited to, architectural or structural installations, electrical alterations, plumbing alterations and heavy equipment installation require approval from 221A. All subleases have an alteration clause that should be reviewed by tenants.

16. Am I allowed to sublet my unit?

Tenants are not allowed to sublease their units without express approval from 221A. All subleases have a subletting clause that should be reviewed by tenants.

17. Are pets allowed?

Personal guide animals are permitted, with pets being considered on a case-by-case basis. If approved, we ask that the animal be under supervision at all times.

18. Is there bike and vehicle parking?

There is a shared bike parking area within the building. There is no tenant vehicle parking available in the building. Metered street parking and monthly pay parking is available within walking distance.

19. Is there a loading bay?

There is a Class B loading space approximately 8.5 metres long, 3.0 metres wide, and 3.8 metres high located off the street at the main entrance of the building. 

20. How can I book the meeting room?

221A will have in place an online booking system for tenants to use and share the meeting room. 

21. Where else will tenants be able to find information?

A tenants handbook will be provided at the move-in and onboarding for each tenant within the 825 premises that will provide detailed information on the shared use of the building.


Contact

If you have any questions regarding 825 Pacific, or would like to find out more information including info sessions and tour dates, please contact Carmut Me at cme@221a.ca. For other inquiries please contact 221A's office email at hello@221a.ca.