Vancouver city council is holding a public hearing on a rezoning application for a downtown condo and hotel high-rise.
The project at 118-150 Robson Street is across from Terry Fox Plaza, a busy entrance to B.C. Place.
The Amacon Development project features a 29-storey tower on the west side of the site, with condos and hotel uses above retail spaces on street level.
On the east side will be the main hotel component of the development, with six storeys, which is the height of the tower’s podium.
There will be a total of 131 condo units from levels five to 29 in the residential tower.
“Residential use in this amenity-rich area would further contribute to the vision of a vibrant downtown where people live, work and play in close proximity,” according to a staff report to council.
The report was prepared by Karen Hoese, acting assistant director for downtown of the city’s planning, urban design and sustainability department.
Hoese wrote that the ground floor will serve as hotel and residential lobbies, and retail and service spaces connected to the hotel, which include a coffee shop and a restaurant.
“The proposed hotel is consistent with City’s policy objectives of supporting a healthy economy in downtown, and is also highly supportable given the current trend of a historically low hotel vacancy and dwindling supply of hotel rooms due to residential redevelopment,” Hoese explained. “The provision of commercial uses at grade would also enliven the public realm at this key intersection in downtown and is supported.”
The Robson development site between Beatty and Cambie streets is composed of the former Northern Electric (NEC) Building, a restaurant, and a surplus city road.
The NEC Building used to be the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Vancouver.
The Catholic Charities of the archdiocese operates a men’s hostel at the building, with funding B.C. Housing.
According to Hoese, the hostel serves as a shelter providing services for homeless individuals.
“It has 102 beds that are open year-round, with an additional 24 temporary shelter beds that are open during the winter,” Hoese noted. “The shelter primarily serves men over the age of 45, some of whom are working. The shelter is open 16 hours a day and provides services such as laundry, meal vouchers, and one-on-one advocacy.”
A replacement shelter, also in the downtown area, will be provided as part of the development project.
The project will also include the retention and restoration of three facades of the NEC Building. The Betty Street façade will be reconstructed.
The public hearing for the 118-150 Robson Street development is scheduled on Tuesday (June 26).