Revised design downsizes new hotel for future Oak-VGH SkyTrain offices

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Major changes have been made to the design, size and uses of the new hotel complex located on the southwest corner of the intersection of West Broadway and Laurel Street, just steps from the entrance to the venue Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) emergency room.

A recently submitted development permit application to redevelop the existing Park Inn & Suites by Radisson and Fairview pub and liquor store at 888 West Broadway – immediately east of the future Oak-VGH station subway entrance from SkyTrain – moved away from a new modern hotel being the primary use. Instead, office rental was introduced as the new primary use, with a new replacement hotel being the second-largest use.

The former concept hotel’s rezoning application by owner Centennial Hotel and design firm Arno Matis Architecture was approved by Vancouver City Council in early 2020.

But the approach to proceeding with the development permit application changed after Bosa Properties acquired the property and redevelopment plans. The design has since been completely redesigned by Henriquez Partners Architects.

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

But the towers are now sculpted in a way that softens the route of the helipad, reduces the duration of the building’s shadowing on the north Broadway sidewalks compared to the previous design, and creates greater distance in the space between the towers to open northern views of downtown. VGH skyline and mountains.

Existing condition:

The development site at 888 West Broadway, replacing the current 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 current 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 current 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 artist rendering of the previous concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Arno Matis Architecture/Centenary Hotel)

Revised design in planning permit application in September 2022:

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

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

Although the height has not changed, there are fewer stories – now 10 stories for the two towers, compared to 13 and 11 stories in the original concept. Office uses generally require higher ceiling heights than residential and hotel uses.

Total floor space is now 280,000 square feet – a considerable decrease from the previous design’s 357,000 square feet.

The West Tower, closest to Laurel Street and the SkyTrain station, will retain hotel uses, as well as hotel uses for the base podium between the two towers. The size of the east tower has been extended for 100% office uses.

There will be 149,000 square feet of office space, 110,000 square feet of hotel uses and 21,000 square feet of ground floor retail and dining space activating the West Broadway frontage.

Original uses for rezoning in 2019:

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

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

Revised uses in the planning permit application in September 2022:

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

2019 usage plan for the previous concept of 888 West Broadway, Vancouver. (Arno Matis Architecture/Centenary Hotel)

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

Over the past few years, Destination Vancouver and other hospitality and tourism industry stakeholders have urged the municipal government to further catalyze additional new hotel offerings to compensate for both lost capacity pre-pandemic due to redevelopment and pandemic closures. Without a substantial increase in hotel supply, the tourism industry and the jobs it supports are set to suffer.

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

Original design for rezoning in 2019:

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

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

Revised design in planning permit application in September 2022:

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

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

As for the architectural concept, the glass facade of the original design was replaced by precast concrete panels, with perforated windows revealing a wooden interior. It is a contemporary take on the concrete modernist style of architecture that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, with the nearby Frank Stanzl building at 805 West Broadway serving as inspiration.

In addition, the use of precast concrete panels significantly shortens the construction time of the complex and reduces construction labor requirements.

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

888 west broadway vancouver bosa properties hotel 2022

September 2022 artist 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 artist 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 artist 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 artist 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/Centenary Hotel)

Three underground levels will provide 215 vehicle parking spaces and 113 secure bicycle parking spaces. Space has also been set aside on the sidewalk on the west side of the building, facing Laurel Street, for a Mobi bike share station – adjacent to a covered corner public plaza, which could accommodate an art installation audience.

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

Last summer, the city council also approved a 12-story hotel building with 147 rooms at 901 West Broadway, replacing the New India Buffet right next to the Bosa Properties site.

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Rozella J. Cook