City Council approves new 270-room hotel next to Oakridge-41st Avenue Station

Mar 10 2021, 2:39 pm

A sizeable mid-tier hotel within a mixed-use development will be built just east of Oakridge Centre shopping mall and SkyTrain’s Oakridge-41st Avenue Station.

Vancouver City Council greenlit the rezoning application for 5910-5998 Cambie Street in a public hearing on Tuesday evening in an 8-2 vote. COPE councillor Jean Swanson and NPA councillor Colleen Hardwick opposed, and independent councillor Rebecca Bligh was absent.

Four single-family homes on the east side of Cambie Street between West 43rd Avenue and West 44th Avenue will be replaced with a 15-storey hotel tower and a 29-storey (278 ft) condominium tower on a five-storey podium.

Existing condition:

5910-5962 Cambie Street Vancouver

Site of 5910-5962 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

Future condition:

5910-5998 Cambie Street Vancouver hotel

Artistic rendering of 5910-5998 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Perkins + Will Architects)

There will be 270 hotel rooms and 168 condominium homes. The strata unit mix is 99 one-bedroom units, 46 two-bedroom units, and 23 three-bedroom units. Additionally, 10 artist live-work studios will be incorporated.

Hotel guests and strata residents will share some of the building’s amenities, such as a fitness gym. Residents will also have their own indoor and outdoor amenity space on the condominium tower rooftop. Hotel guests will have a separate indoor and outdoor amenity area on the hotel tower rooftop, including a guest-only fitness gym.

Approximately 4,400 sq ft of retail space will be on the ground level, where the hotel lobby, marketplace, and restaurant will also be.

5910-5962 Cambie Street Vancouver

Mixed-use diagram of 5910-5962 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Perks + Will Architects)

5910-5998 Cambie Street Vancouver hotel

Artistic rendering of 5910-5998 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Perkins + Will Architects)

5910-5962 Cambie Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 5910-5962 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Perks + Will Architects)

NPA councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung noted hotels integrated into mixed-use developments — with condominiums and/or office space — are the way forward for most future new hotel properties, as it has become extremely difficult to build a standalone hotel building in the city.

There was also a shortage of hotel rooms in the city before COVID-19, largely due to conversions and demolitions of older low-to-mid-tier properties into residential developments. The shortage of low-end properties is further exacerbated by the decisions of governments over the past year to acquire low-cost hotel buildings for social and supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness.

“Just in terms of looking at the economics of sites, it’s very difficult to build a hotel that is economically viable and now we’re losing more rooms, which I think is going to really impact us when the tourism industry rebounds. It is challenging in the economics to build a hotel… they’re becoming expensive to run,” said Kirby-Yung, adding that the city also needs to see more hotels outside of the downtown peninsula.

5910-5998 Cambie Street Vancouver hotel

Artistic rendering of 5910-5998 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Perkins + Will Architects)

5910-5998 Cambie Street Vancouver hotel

Artistic rendering of 5910-5998 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Perkins + Will Architects)

5910-5998 Cambie Street Vancouver hotel

Artistic rendering of 5910-5998 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Perkins + Will Architects)

Hardwick stated her opposition against this proposal was largely on the basis that the Cambie Corridor Plan, which prescribes such uses, heights, and densities for this site in the Oakridge Municipal Town Centre, is flawed.

“I get the clear boosterism of getting a hotel down in this part of the Cambie Corridor, opposite from Oakridge Centre. I certainly understand the business rationale for it, but again this Cambie Corridor Plan that was the product of the formal city council, which I’m convinced is fundamentally flawed in its consideration. We just keep moving ahead as if there’s nothing wrong with it, and there is,” said Hardwick.

Swanson brought attention to a previous policy proposal she suggested to explore ways to introduce more affordable housing into the Cambie Corridor.

Instead, Swanson says, “we keep passing all of these projects that are going to basically make the Cambie Corridor into an area for the elite, and this one with a whole bunch of strata is going to do that.”

5910-5998 Cambie Street Vancouver hotel

Artistic rendering of 5910-5998 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Perkins + Will Architects)

5910-5998 Cambie Street Vancouver hotel

Artistic rendering of 5910-5998 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Perkins + Will Architects)

5910-5962 Cambie Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 5910-5962 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Perks + Will Architects)

The City of Vancouver stands to benefit immensely from this rezoning as the developer will be required to provide $28.4 million in total public benefits, including a community amenity contribution in cash of $13.7 million and development cost levies of $7.9 million. The live-work artist studios are worth $6.1 million as an in-kind CAC, and the public art contribution is worth about $650,000.

The redevelopment will create 344,000 sq ft of total floor area, giving it a floor space ratio density of 10.86 times the size of its 31,700-sq-ft lot. Six underground levels will provide 281 vehicle parking stalls — including 88 stalls for hotel uses and 15 stalls for car share — and 377 bike parking spaces.

About a block to the north near the northeast corner of the intersection of West 41st Avenue and Cambie Street, a multi-tower proposal for 357-475 West 41st Avenue called for 344 purpose-built rental homes, 16,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space on the ground level, and two floors of hotel with 78 guest rooms. This proposal, which has yet to enter public hearing, has since been revised, converting the hotel floors into more rental homes.

City council also approved two other notable rezoning applications last night.

In a 7-2 vote, with Hardwick and Swanson opposed, city council approved a six-storey building with 90 secured market rental homes for 4118-4138 Cambie Street — the southeast corner of the intersection of Cambie Street and West King Edward Avenue, just kitty corner from SkyTrain’s King Edward Station.

For the eight-storey proposal with 131 condominium homes at 1943-1999 East Hastings Street, city council granted the rezoning in an 8-2 vote, again with Hardwick and Swanson opposed.

4118-4138 Cambie Street

Artistic rendering of the redevelopment at 4118-4138 Cambie Street, Vancouver. (Raymond Letkeman Architects/Pennyfarthing Development)

1943-1967 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 1943-1967 East Hastings Street, Vancouver. (DIALOG/Reliance Properties)

In January 2021, city council approved two projects north of 5910-5998 Cambie Street, including 133 condominium homes, 80 secured market rental homes, and 73,000 sq ft of retail, restaurant, and office space for 5740 Cambie Street, and an 18-storey student housing rental tower with 475 student beds in 124 units at 441-475 West 42nd Avenue.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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