NEWS

Wall Centre gets window makeover

01/22/2013 07:07 EST | Updated 03/24/2013 05:12 EDT
One of the tallest buildings in Vancouver is getting a makeover that will resolve a tenants' dispute and finally give the unique highrise a uniform look.

The clear glass on the top 17 floors of the 48-storey Wall Centre on Burrard Street will be replaced with darker glass to match the 31 floors below.

The building had to be constructed with two types of glass after the city stopped work on the project while it was being built in 2000 because of a dispute over what type of glass was approved for the project.

The city maintained it had an agreement with the developer that it would be glazed with translucent glass, not black. Eventually a compromise was reached and a translucent glass was used to finish the upper floors of the building.

But in 2011, the residents' strata corporation filed a lawsuit claiming the translucent windows were leaking air, allowing them to fog. The cost to replace them was estimated at $7 million, with some condo owners facing levies of more than $100,000.

It appears the offer to replace the windows with glass will settle the residents' dispute. The glass will also be darker than the translucent windows installed during construction.

"We looked at a number of options and are pleased to have the support of the City for a solution that meets all of our needs," said Bruce Gleig, the president of the residential strata corporation, in a statement issued on Tuesday.

"The glass is being replaced to improve the energy efficiency of the residential floors and achieve a uniform look for the entire building," said the statement.

"The replacement of the upper glass will allow Wall Financial to realize our vision for the iconic One Wall Centre," said Peter Wall, the founder and controlling shareholder of Wall Financial in the statement.

The replacement is expected to start in April and take seven months to complete.

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