City report reveals plan for hotel and conference centre on Downtown Eastside hospital site

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      The development of a new hospital and health-care campus in the Downtown Eastside could have far-reaching ramifications on the neighbourhood.

      In a report going to council's city finance and services committee today, staff have recommended that the city accept a $1.5 million "cost-recovery contribution" from Providence Health Care to cover rezoning expenses.

      Council passed a resolution in 2015 supporting construction of a new St. Paul's Hospital and health campus on Providence's 7.5-hectare site. It's on Station Street near Main Street-Science World Station.

      "A hotel is required on either the West or South parcels to help address the demand for short-term accommodation generated by the introduction of a hospital in an area with relatively few hotels," the report states. "At-grade retail uses (e.g. cafes, shops, grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants) are required along a New High Street to provide an active, comfortable pedestrian experience."

      The report acknowledges several potential social impacts, including increased pressure on the housing stock by new well-paying jobs in the area.

      It also notes that an influx of new visitors and patients "will increase pressures on limited local short-term accommodation options and SROs in particular".

      Retailers providing affordable goods to the local population could be pushed out, the report states, and "jobs and businesses may displace existing vulnerable people and the employment and businesses they rely on".

      The report lists several potential mitigation measures and policies in response, including the "delivery of a hotel and conference centre to address demand on site".

      "Community Benefit Agreements will set targets for local employment and local procurement," the report states. "Public Benefits Strategy seeks to retain affordable spaces for NPOs and Social Enterprise."

      In 2016 council stated that housing would not be permitted on-site unless it was for "institutional health-related residential uses".

      Earlier this year, Vancouver billionaire Jimmy Pattison announced a $75-million contribution to the proposed $1.2-billion complex. It will be called the Jim Pattison Medical Centre on False Creek Flats.

      Key issues that staff have been asked to address include:

      * the stability of the building site;

      * transportation routes in light of anticipated sea-level rise and/or seismic events;

      * impact of the development on low-income housing in adjacent communities;

      * impact of the development on single-room-accommodation in the area;

      * and the management of emergency planning.

      "In addition to establishing policy for the new Station Street site, Council directed staff to collaborate with PHC and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) on a robust public consultation process and report back on which health care services are to be retained in the West End and across the Downtown area, and report any issues that arise related to the future redevelopment of the Burrard Street site," the report states. 

      The Station Street site is comprised of six industrial-zoned parcels. Under existing zoning, they could have a maximum density of 3 FSR and a maximum height of 18.3 metres.

      The report notes that the site "will provide a variety of public, semi-public and private open spaces". These include a civic plaza at the entry point from the southwest and semipublic and private rooftop open spaces.