Lifetime Development and Ink Entertainment's Bisha Hotel and Residences looks to be making progress after an extensive wait. Located on Blue Jays Way just south of King Street, the Wallman-designed development has been a contentious project from the get-go, with many opposing the 41-storey tower and the façadism seen at the tower base. Recent rumours regarding a slump in condominium sales within the increasingly dense entertainment district do not appear to have impacted Bisha as some were proposing they had — while the original 2014 completion date may seem slightly ambitious, it appears as though we'll nonetheless be seeing this tower in the not-so-distant future.
Forum members began reporting construction workers on site in May of this year, with hoarding put in place along the eastern façade. Heritage Preservation Services required the east façade and the sidewalls (back to 5.8 metres) to be protected — the western portion of the original building had already been demolished and rebuilt. The original house was built in 1834 as a private residence and subsequently served as girls' school. Until 2005 it was home to a popular comedy club.
The back of the building is notably less impressive than the front and won't be missed. The image below was taken in mid-May; Forum member Jasonzed's image further down is from early July. You can see through the building now and glimpse the windows on the eastern façade facing Blue Jays Way.
We'll be interested to see how the original façade will be protected during the construction process. As we saw at Tableau, a nearby development whose renderings seemed to depict the preservation of an existing façade, the old building was entirely dismantled (much to the dismay of certain forum members and heritage aficionados alike). Developer Urban Capital has stated that they will be "rebuilding" the façade with new brick and old masonry. Conversely, QRC West has maintained the bones of the old façade with an extensive support system while construction progresses.
If you'd like to see project renderings, floorplans and detailed information for Bisha, head over to the project dataBase below, or check out the associated thread to join the conversation.