Smaller hotel with new office uses in revised redevelopment proposal next to future Oak-VGH SkyTrain (RENDERINGS)

Sep 29 2022, 12:29 am

Major changes have been made to the design, size, and uses of the new hotel complex set for the southwest corner of the intersection of West Broadway and Laurel Street, just footsteps away from Vancouver General Hospital’s (VGH) emergency room entrance.

A newly submitted development permit application to redevelop the existing Park Inn & Suites by Radisson and the Fairview Pub and liquor store at 888 West Broadway — immediately east of the future subway entrance into SkyTrain’s Oak-VGH Station — has pivoted away from a new modern hotel being the main use. Instead, rental office space has been introduced as the new primary use, with a new replacement hotel being the second largest use.

The rezoning application for the previous hotel concept by property owner Centennial Hotel and design firm Arno Matis Architecture was approved by Vancouver City Council in early 2020.

But the approach for proceeding into the development permit application changed after the property and redevelopment plans were acquired by Bosa Properties. The design has since been completely overhauled by Henriquez Partners Architects.

No changes have been made to the tower heights, which are constrained by both the mountain view cone emanating from Queen Elizabeth Park and the VGH helicopter flight path.

But the towers are now sculpted in a way to mitigate the helipad route, reduce the duration of the building’s shadowing on Broadway’s north sidewalks compared to the previous design, and create greater distancing in the gap between the towers to open up northerly views of the downtown skyline and mountains from VGH.

Existing condition:

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

The development site at 888 West Broadway, replacing the existing Park Inn & Suites by Radisson and the Fairview Pub/liquor store. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa Properties)

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

The development site at 888 West Broadway, replacing the existing Park Inn & Suites by Radisson and the Fairview Pub/liquor store. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa Properties)

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

The development site at 888 West Broadway, replacing the existing Park Inn & Suites by Radisson and the Fairview Pub/liquor store. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa Properties)

Original design for rezoning in 2019:

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

2019 artistic rendering of the previous concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Arno Matis Architecture/Centennial Hotel)

Revised design in the development permit application in September 2022:

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

September 2022 artistic rendering of the revised concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa Properties)

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

September 2022 artistic rendering of the revised concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa Properties)

Although the height has not changed, there are fewer floors — now 10 storeys for both towers, down from 13- and 11-storeys in the original concept. Office uses generally require higher ceiling heights than residential and hotel uses.

The total floor area is now 280,000 sq ft — a considerable decrease from 357,000 sq ft in the previous design.

The west tower, closest to Laurel Street and the SkyTrain station, will retain hotel uses, along with hotel uses for the base podium between the two towers. The east tower’s size has been expanded for 100% office uses.

There will be 149,000 sq ft of office space, 110,000 sq ft of hotel uses, and 21,000 sq ft of ground-level retail and restaurant space activating the West Broadway frontage.

Original uses for rezoning in 2019:

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

September 2022 use plan of the revised concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Arno Matis Architecture/Centennial Hotel)

Revised uses in the development permit application in September 2022:

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

2019 use plan of the previous concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Arno Matis Architecture/Centennial Hotel)

The number of hotel guest rooms planned in the revised concept is now 156. This represents a 33% increase from the 1971-built Park Inn & Suites by Radisson’s 117 rooms, but a considerable drop from the 438 rooms in the original concept, including 258 traditional short-term stay rooms and 180 long-term stay rooms with kitchenettes.

In recent years, Destination Vancouver and other stakeholders in the hospitality and tourism industry have been urging the municipal government to catalyze more new additional hotel supply to make up for both the lost capacity before the pandemic due to redevelopment, and the pandemic-time closures. Without a substantial boost in hotel supply, the tourism industry and the jobs it supports are expected to suffer.

Bosa Properties’ rationale for turning this redevelopment into an office-primary project is “in response to the strong demand for rental office space in the area, and to support additional opportunities for a range of City-serving businesses.”

Original design for rezoning in 2019:

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

2019 artistic rendering of the previous concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Arno Matis Architecture/Centennial Hotel)

Revised design in the development permit application in September 2022:

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

September 2022 artistic rendering of the revised concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa Properties)

As for the architectural concept, the original design’s glass facade has been replaced with prefabricated concrete panels, with punched windows revealing a wood interior. This is set to be a contemporary interpretation of the concrete modernist architecture style that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, with the nearby Frank Stanzl Building at 805 West Broadway serving as an inspiration.

As well, the use of prefabricated concrete panels shortens the complex’s construction timeline considerably, and reduces the construction labour requirements.

The redevelopment is aiming for a LEED Gold and WELL green building certification.

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

September 2022 artistic rendering of the revised concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa Properties)

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

September 2022 artistic rendering of the revised concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa Properties)

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

September 2022 artistic rendering of the revised concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa Properties)

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

September 2022 artistic rendering of the revised concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Henriquez Partners Architects/Bosa Properties)

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

September 2022 site plan of the revised concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Arno Matis Architecture/Centennial Hotel)

Three underground levels will provide 215 vehicle parking stalls and 113 secured bike parking spaces. Space has also been set aside on the sidewalk on the west side of the building, fronting Laurel Street, for a Mobi public bike share station — adjacent to a covered corner public plaza, which could host a public art installation.

The revised proposal takes into account City Council’s approval of the Broadway Plan, which went into effect earlier this month.

This past summer, City Council also approved a 12-storey hotel building with 147 guest rooms at 901 West Broadway — replacing the New India Buffet just kitty corner from the Bosa Properties site.

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