The much-anticipated, large-scale redevelopment of the Jewish Community Centre in Vancouver has received yet another funding boost: a $36M donation that's now the single largest donation to the project to date.

The project, named JWest, has been in the works since 2017. It previously received $25M in funding from the Government of British Columbia in April 2021, $50M via multiple community donations in September 2022, and an additional $25M via the Government of Canada in December.

All in all, the project is estimated to cost $427M, with a targeted philanthropic goal of $161M.

This latest $36M donation was made by the Ronald S. Roadburg Foundation and the Al Roadburg Foundation. The Roadburg family has a long history in Vancouver, Al Roadburg being born in the city in 1913. Al went on to be active in real estate, holding numerous rental, office, and commercial buildings under his company, Broadway Properties, before his son Ronald eventually took over the business.

The JWest project is a partnership between the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, the Jewish Community Centre, and King David High School, with Acton Ostry Architects serving as the architect.

A Transformative Undertaking in Two Phases

JWest will see the redevelopment of the existing Jewish Community Centre site at 950 West 41st Avenue in Vancouver, an undertaking that will unfold in two phases.

Phase one includes the construction of a new eight-storey, 200,000-sq.-ft community centre, with a 104-space childcare facility, a 450-seat theatre, a Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, a childhood education centre, a senior care facility, a recreational and aquatics facility, and cultural art facilities.

JWest Jewish Community Centre - (Acton Ostry Architects)A rendering of the redeveloped Jewish Community Centre on West 41st Avenue. (Acton Ostry Architects)

"In contrast to the existing sprawling, low-rise JCC facility, the new community centre will be vertical and compressed to occupy a smaller footprint, as a consequence of the constrained site condition on the eastern portion of the property," the project's design rationale reads. "Program elements are stacked -- and in the case of the aquatics centre, lowered one storey below grade -- in order to fit within the site boundaries and make more intensive use of the urban site."

The planning documents also note that the large special-use spaces, such as the theatre and recreational space, will primarily be located at the two ends of the building, with smaller general-purpose spaces closer to the middle, allowing for their uses to change as needed in the future.

Careful thought was also put towards the security of the building, with the Jewish Community Centre consulting security experts on safety measures. The resulting design is one that utilizes a single primary point of entry and exit facing West 41st Avenue.

The first phase is estimated to cost $155M and construction is expected to be completed in 2024.

Jwest jewish community centre redevelopment vancouver 2 1024x553Right: Phase One / Left: Phase Two. (Acton Ostry Architects)

Phase two would commence after the completion of phase one, and includes the demolition of the existing building, as well as the relocation of King David High School -- currently one block east -- to the site, expanding the school's facilities in the process.

READ: 439 Rental Units Across Two Towers Proposed for Oakridge in Vancouver

Additionally, the second phase will see somewhere between 500 and 600 rental units constructed along the western perimeter of the 3.3-acre site, fronting onto Oak Street. A City of Vancouver council report from 2018 indicated that the residential component would consist of a 24-storey and 26-storey building.

A separate development application with additional details for phase two will be filed in the future.

The second phase is expected to cost $272M, with construction currently scheduled to be completed in 2028.

Development Projects