Building Community

Money comes second to people for Ryan Hurley

Ryan Hurley in the midst of repurposing the Sparks Home Furnishing Building. Photo courtesy of The Columbian, 2015.

"While working on his downtown projects, Hurley said that his goal was to keep the character of the buildings intact, maintaining their architectural integrity, 'but at the same time bringing a new and fresh face to it.'

'Those disciplines take a lot of work, they take creative and thoughtful design,' Hurley said. 'I want it to stand the test of time.'

Lee Rafferty has gotten to know Hurley over her five years as executive director of the Vancouver’s Downtown Association. She said she appreciates his ability to see the potential in buildings that others may write off as outdated infrastructure.

'He’s able to take something old and solid and give it a new purpose,' she said.

An excellent example of this, Rafferty said, is the Calvary Chapel, located at 806 Main St. in what was originally a J.C. Penney.

'They took a two-story retail space and fashioned it into a warm, inviting place of worship which has now become a really vital part of the fabric of downtown,' Rafferty said. 'The average person wouldn’t have been able to walk in and say, "I see this." As a downtown manager, what I appreciate is someone who can come in with that kind of sensitivity.'”