B.C. government to turn ICBC headquarters into new homes

ICBC's underutilized headquarters at North Vancouver's Lonsdale Quay will be turned into new housing, the B.C. government says. (David Horemans/CBC - image credit)

The province says it has purchased the Insurance Corporation of B.C.'s headquarters in North Vancouver with the plan of turning it into housing.

The 300,000-square foot building at Lonsdale Quay, directly beside the SeaBus terminal and a bus loop, is operating at less than half capacity on most days due to the public insurer's hybrid work model, the B.C. government says.

"Underused areas that are already well connected to transit and close to services and amenities are the perfect places to build new homes," Premier David Eby said in a news release Monday.

The government estimates the project will create "several hundred" homes but has not yet specified a number.

"This property is an ideal place to build homes near a world-class transit hub, where people can easily access the daily necessities of life and have the option of using affordable efficient public transit to get around," Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming said in a news release.

ICBC has secured a 15-year lease to move its operations to a smaller building on Keith Drive. It's expected to fully relocate between December 2026 and May 2027, the government said.

The province said it will work with First Nations, TransLink and the City of North Vancouver on the project. The site is on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

"This is an important part of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh shared territory, and we welcome the opportunity to be partners on delivering housing that serves our members and the public as a whole," Squamish Nation spokesperson Sxwíxwtn (Wilson Williams) said in a statement.

The provincial government has promised to deliver 10,000 homes near transit over the next 10 to 15 years. It has also announced transit-oriented developments in Port Moody and Saanich in recent months.