Vancouver’s hospitality industry is receiving a much-needed capacity boost this year with the opening of a new major hotel.
The EXchange Hotel within the recently completed Exchange Tower at 475 Howe Street in downtown Vancouver is set to open this summer.
There will be 202 rooms in the four-star boutique hotel by Exchange Hotels & Resorts, which will occupy the first eleven floors – all of the heritage floors of the 1929-built Old Stock Exchange Building heritage.
Construction of the tower involved adding 20 floors on top of the heritage structure, a restoration of the stock exchange trading floor, and a LEED Platinum green building design. It won the 2017 American Architecture Prize for Heritage Architecture.
The $240-million, 372,000-sq-ft, 31-storey tower – developed by Credit Suisse and designed by renowned Swiss architect Harry Gugger – opened last fall and was originally slated to be entirely AAA office space.
But due to issues with leasing the space as office, the Swiss developer accepted a proposal that would convert the lower floors into a hotel.
A development application was submitted to the municipal government in early-2017 to convert 110,000 sq. ft. of office space into a new hotel.
Work is now well underway on retrofitting the unfurnished lower floors of the building into a hotel.
The main entry into the office levels is located on West Pender Street while the primary hotel entrance will be located on Howe Street. Four elevators will serve the office levels, and another three elevators will be used separately for the hotel.
Front desk and lobby space as well as a full-service restaurant and bar are located on a second level mezzanine, overlooking the office lobby entrance, within an expanded floor area of the heritage building.
The tenants of the office portion of the tower are National Bank, which is the anchor tenant with 45,000 sq. ft. of space. Other tenants include Smythe LLP and fintech company HyperWallet Systems.
The EXchange Hotel is just one of two Executive Group hotels planned for the city block. Last month, the City of Vancouver approved the company’s proposal to build a 13-storey hotel building with 106 guest rooms on the adjacent site currently occupied by the Edward Chapman building.
Although both hotels are owned by the same company, the properties will operate as separate hotels.