A new mid-tier hotel could be coming to Vancouver at a highly transit-oriented location on the Central Broadway Corridor.
A rezoning application has been submitted by Hallmark Hospitality for the property at 901 West Broadway — the northwest corner of the intersection of West Broadway and Laurel Street. The entrance into SkyTrain’s future VGH-Oak Station, part of the Millennium Line Broadway Extension, is immediately across the street at the southwest corner.
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The property is currently occupied by a 1929-built, two-storey building with New India Buffet, Bar, and Restaurant. It was previously an Earls restaurant location up until about a decade ago.
In 2017, the property was acquired by the hotel company for $22.5 million.
The proposal designed by Zeidler Architecture calls for a new 133-ft-tall, 12-storey hotel building with a total of 147 hotel rooms.
A 220-seat restaurant, and lounge and cafe areas are planned for the main level, next to the main hotel lobby. There will also be three meeting rooms on a lower level. Guests can enter the hotel from both the lower entrance on Laurel Street or the main entrance on West Broadway.
Wood veneer and metal panels will provide a contrasting appearance to the glass. The wood veneer panels, in particular, have a “weaving” pattern, drawing inspiration from traditional baskets.
The total floor area is 93,000 sq. ft. for a floor area ratio density of 7.95 times the size of the 11,700 sq. ft. lot. Three underground levels will provide 62 vehicle parking stalls and 18 bike parking spaces.
The proponents are seeking a LEED Gold green building certification.
This is a highly strategic site not only for its location next to SkyTrain, but also its very close proximity to Vancouver General Hospital and the medical and research offices in the wider area.
This hotel property will help serve the demand from hospital and researcher visitation, and the eventual rebound in tourism. There was a shortage of hotel rooms in Vancouver prior to COVID-19, as a direct result of the major closure of the Empire Landmark Hotel and the recent conversions of older low-end hotels into supportive housing for the homeless.
Just kitty corner from the site at 878-898 West Broadway, a pair of future hotel buildings reaching up to 13 storeys will offer a total of 438 hotel rooms, including 258 traditional short-term stay hotel units and 180-long-term stay units with kitchenettes. This separate project, approved by Vancouver City Council in January 2020, will result in a net gain in hotel rooms compared to the existing Park Inn & Suites by Radisson and the Fairview Pub and liquor store on the site.
The height and density of both sites are significantly restrained by both the hospital’s helicopter flight path and the Queen Elizabeth Park mountain view cone.
The application for 901 West Broadway names the property as “Hallmark Hotel,” but it is not immediately clear if this is merely a placeholder name.
Hallmark Hospitality is known for operating four hotels in Canada, including Ramada by Wyndham Vancouver Downtown, BW Premier Calgary Airport, Four Points by Sheraton Edmonton Airport, and BW PLUS Toronto Airport.
The project can be considered now without waiting for the city’s finalization of the Broadway Plan as the proponents have applied under the Metro Core Employment Plan.