You may recall in July 2021, we received government approval for the Clinical Support and Research Centre (CSRC) business plan. On November 17, the Minister of Health announced three proponents have been shortlisted to participate in the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage to develop, design and build the CSRC.

As we enter this next phase, here are the 5 top things to know about the CSRC (plus a bonus point):

1. What is the CSRC?
The CSRC will be a three-building complex serving as the cornerstone of Vancouver’s new hub for discovery, learning, research, and innovation in the False Creek Flats area. This approximately 800,000 square foot development will be just steps away and connected via a skybridge and public plaza to the new St. Paul’s Hospital at the Jim Pattison Medical Centre.

The CSRC will bring together Providence’s physicians, researchers, clinicians, corporate staff, and leaders, along with industry players, academic partners and start-ups. The centre will offer reaching and teaching programs and infrastructure for emerging technology such as 3D bio-printing, as well as amenities such as a 49-space daycare, retail, and potentially a conference centre. All three buildings will share an underground parkade that will be separate from the hospital’s parkade.

The CSRC will be designed to be a symbiotic and social ecosystem more than the sum of its parts, facilitating an environment that encourages people to interact with other tenants to discover, create, and innovate. An Innovation Centre shared between two of the buildings with ‘sandbox’ prototyping space will be designed to encourage tenants to collaborate in a shared space that inspires ideas, creativity, problem-solving, projects, and discovery. The state-of-the-art facility will allow Providence Research, Providence’s research centres of excellence, independent clinical researchers and our clinicians to further integrate research and innovation into everything we do.

The CSRC is also important for the patients we serve. Having offices for medical staff in the CSRC will allow us to extend the continuum of care on our campus – acute care in the hospital, outpatient care in our clinics, and follow-up visits to a specialist’s office in the CSRC. It’s the same patient, same physician, same campus but with the right care, in the right place for better use of our hospital’s acute care space.

2. When will the CSRC open?
Construction on the first two CSRC buildings will start late 2023. The goal is to align the opening of the CSRC as closely as possible to the hospital, although we recognize that may be challenging. When a development partner has been selected in 2022, we will have a better idea of timelines and opening dates for each of the three buildings.

3. How much will it cost to build the CSRC?
The exact cost of the CSRC won’t be known until a development partner has been selected. Space occupied by Providence will be funded by Providence and St. Paul’s Foundation.

The cost of the CSRC is separate from the $2.174 billion to build the new St. Paul’s Hospital.

4. Who will be working in the CSRC?
Two of the buildings will have a combination of spaces for Providence researchers, physicians, clinicians, corporate services staff, and leadership.

Space is being planned for our research centres of excellence and our team for Providence Research. Physicians and specialists associated with St. Paul’s Hospital will also have the opportunity to lease medical office space in the new CSRC so they can be close to patients.

The CSRC will also have considerable leasable space for academic and industry partners and even start-ups to join us in discovery and work together on innovative ideas.

The third building will house the developer’s tenants.

5. What type of staff and medical staff engagement is taking place in the development of the CSRC? Do I get a say?
In this early phase, the CSRC project team has been engaging representatives from key stakeholder groups, including physicians, researchers, and corporate services, through Working Groups. Input from these representatives is helping to determine the needs, scope, and deliverables for the CSRC. More engagement will occur after a development partner is selected.

Interested in learning more and having your voice heard? Staff and medical staff can head to to stay up-to-date on the project and give input into some aspects of the new hospital and the CSRC. To sign in use the RED BUTTON and your health authority network/computer/remote login.

Bonus: Why is the CSRC a separate project? Is PCL building it?
The CSRC is a BIG project, and while it’s still part of the new St. Paul’s Hospital and Health Campus Project, the CSRC is being developed and built separately from the hospital.

During the development of the new St. Paul’s Hospital Business Plan (Phase 1A), the decision was made to move some of the non-acute care components, such as research space, into the CSRC (Phase 1B) which then required a separate business plan and separate approval. In July 2021, we received business plan approval for the CSRC.

The CSRC will also use a different model of delivery than the hospital. The CSRC will be built with a real estate development partner who will:

• Lease the land from Providence
• Develop the land
• Choose their own designer, builder, and even tenants

In contrast, Providence has hired our own design-builder (PCL Construction) for the hospital and funded all the costs along with the Province. We won’t own the CSRC buildings, but we will own the land the CSRC is built on.

One of the tenants in the CSRC will be Providence, who will use its space for researchers, corporate staff and medical offices. The development partner will build more space than what Providence needs so they can then lease this additional space to third-party tenants. By bringing together experts in medicine and research in one place, the CSRC will be a catalyst to maximize opportunities for partnership and discovery. At the heart centre of the CSRC, the Innovation Centre will have shared ‘sandbox’ prototyping space encouraging collaboration, creativity, and synergies to solve some of the world’s most pressing medical problems.

As mentioned, the development partner will choose their own design-build partner. Each of the three shortlisted proponents will partner with their own design-builder for their Request for Proposal submission. PCL Construction may or may not be the design builder chosen by any of the shortlisted proponents.