Fairmont Hotel Vancouver proposes 12-storey office tower addition

Mar 3 2023, 1:29 am

The iconic Fairmont Hotel Vancouver in downtown Vancouver is looking to expand with an annex tower, but it will not provide any additional hotel room supply.

Hotel owner Larco Hospitality, a division of Larco Enterprises, has submitted a new rezoning application to the municipal government to build a 12-storey, mixed-use tower immediately south of the 1939-built, iconic, chateauesque-style hotel building.

The hotel’s existing mid-block annex structure and covered driveway entrance — located between the heritage hotel tower and the adjacent Bell Media/CTV/Victoria’s Secret building (former library) — would be demolished and replaced with a building largely dedicated to office uses.

The Burrard Street frontage would be activated by a two-storey retail space, including a basement retail level, for a total of 5,500 sq ft of retail space — most likely for luxury retail given that the existing hotel building’s retail tenants are entirely upscale chains like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior, and Omega. The hotel, carrying the address of 900 West Georgia Street, also forms the east entrance into the Alberni Street luxury retail strip.

900 W Georgia Street Vancouver Fairmont Hotel Vancouver office tower

Site of the proposed office building as an expansion of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver at 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Architects-Alliance/Larco Hospitality)

Existing condition of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver:

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Existing condition of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver from Burrard Street. (Google Maps)

Future condition of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver:

900 W Georgia Street Vancouver Fairmont Hotel Vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the proposed office building as an expansion of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver at 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Architects-Alliance/Larco Hospitality)

900 W Georgia Street Vancouver Fairmont Hotel Vancouver office tower

Office, restaurant, ballroom, and retail uses of the tower expansion of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. (Architects-Alliance/Larco Hospitality)

The lower floors also include a new 10,000 sq ft hotel ballroom and 5,400 sq ft of meeting space.

Directly above the ballroom level, there will be two restaurants, with a combined floor area of 14,400 sq ft of restaurant space. The west restaurant space features an expansive covered outdoor terrace with views of Burrard Street below. The retail, ballroom/meeting, and restaurant levels are all accessible from the interior of the main hotel building.

The remaining upper levels of the new tower would be dedicated as office space, totalling 179,000 sq ft. These office floors will be accessible from the dedicated office lobby entrance fronting Hornby Street.

A new hotel driveway entrance would be created through this building, which would cover the vehicular drop-off area. This would also be the location of three vehicle elevators to reach underground levels — two car elevators to access 201 valet vehicle parking stalls over three underground levels, and one truck elevator to access an underground loading area with a unique vehicle loading turntable to account for the tight turning radius. The underground levels also provide 226 secured bike parking spaces.

Existing condition of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver:

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Existing condition of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver from Burrard Street. (Google Maps)

Future condition of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver:

900 W Georgia Street Vancouver Fairmont Hotel Vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the proposed office building as an expansion of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver at 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Architects-Alliance/Larco Hospitality)

The expansion tower and integration with the existing hotel building is designed by Toronto-based Architects-Alliance, which has prior experience with providing contemporary additions to heritage structures. Its design for Hotel Vancouver’s office tower provides a mirror-like, contemporary interpretation of the chateauesque-style building, made evident by the tower’s matching terraced form.

The proposed total floor area would be 265,000 sq ft, establishing a floor area ratio density of a floor area that is 13 times larger than the size of the wedged lot above the existing hotel driveway.

Existing condition of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver:

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver 4

Existing condition of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver from Hornby Street. (Google Maps)

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Existing condition of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver from Hornby Street. (Google Maps)

Future condition of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver:

900 W Georgia Street Vancouver Fairmont Hotel Vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the proposed office building as an expansion of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver at 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Architects-Alliance/Larco Hospitality)

The proposed tower height is 225 ft, which is 144 ft shorter than the existing hotel building.

Hotel Vancouver was the tallest building in Vancouver for about three decades, until the completion of TD Tower in the early 1970s. It currently has over 500 guest rooms.

In 2018, Larco acquired Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for $180 million from Ivanhoe Cambridge, the owner of Metropolis at Metrotown mall. Larco also owns other local hotels such as Vancouver Airport Marriott, Hilton Vancouver Airport, and Sheraton Vancouver Airport.

900 W Georgia Street Vancouver Fairmont Hotel Vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the proposed office building as an expansion of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver at 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Architects-Alliance/Larco Hospitality)

900 W Georgia Street Vancouver Fairmont Hotel Vancouver office tower

Artistic rendering of the proposed office building as an expansion of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver at 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. (Architects-Alliance/Larco Hospitality)

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