138 East 8th Avenue construction site wall collapses, Congee Noodle House Restaurant ordered to close

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One of the walls at a construction site collapsed during the evening of Friday, January 31st, at 138 East 8th Avenue. A portion of the parking lot for the adjacent Congee Noodle House Restaurant also collapsed into the excavated hole. No one was injured. WorkSafe BC has issued a work stop order on the site. The City of Vancouver forced the popular Congee Noodle House to close until further notice. The restaurant is located at 141 East Broadway, a few steps west of the Lee Building.

The construction site is located kitty corner from the 8 1/2 Restaurant at the laneway between Main Street and Quebec Street (City Councillor Michael Wiebe is in the ownership group of that restaurant). Is a further collapse of the wall possible? We’ve included a number of photos for reference. It appears that the site was already under construction in May 2019, as seen in a Google Earth archive photo. With the construction wall collapse, how many presales buyers have been left in limbo?

City inspectors left a legal notice on the site for graffiti removal, a day prior to the collapse of the wall:

The parties involved in this development include:

  • Ankenman Marchand Architects
  • Green Oak Development (as original applicant / original owner) greenoakdevelopment.com/Grand/
  • 1071073 BC Ltd. (incorporated April 7, 2016, ownership not publicly disclosed)
  • Prima West Construction Ltd.
  • Lisa King, Development Planner, City of Vancouver
  • City of Vancouver inspectors, engineering services, compliance and bylaw officers

There are many open questions.

Will anyone ever be held responsible? What will become of the popular Congee Noodle House Restaurant and its staff?

This is a serious safety incident. It is fortunate that no one was injured, but there are certainly major costs and implications for businesses and the neighbourhood. Collapses like this are not supposed to happen. Why did the collapse occur? What went wrong? Did systemic problems contribute to the failure? What needs to be improved to avoid such collapses in the future?

Global news report: Lot behind Vancouver restaurant caves in during condo construction work

CBC: Construction site wall caves in next to East Vancouver restaurant
(this piece includes video footage of the actual collapse)

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