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  #1  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2016, 3:46 AM
bb1510 bb1510 is offline
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Empire Landmark Hotel Redevelopment

The development application is up on the COV website:


"1488 Robson Street - DP-2016-00376

Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership has applied to the City of Vancouver for permission to develop this site with a 28 and 30 storey mixed-use building. The proposal includes the following:

• 280 dwelling units (57 social housing units /223 market units);
• retail use on the ground floor and office use on the second and third floors;
• 393,850 sq. ft. of floor area;
• building height of 300 ft.; and
• four levels of underground parking accessed from the lane.

Under the site’s existing C-6 zoning, the application is “conditional” so it may be permitted; however, it requires the decision of the Development Permit Board.

This application has been scheduled for the Development Permit Board on December 12, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room (1st Floor, City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue).

To assist you, a brief explanation of the Development Permit Board process is posted on our website at: http://vancouver.ca/home-property-de...mit-board.aspx. You or your representative may attend the meeting and, upon request, will be accorded the opportunity to address the Board.

A Community open house is scheduled from 5:00-8:00pm on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at The Listel Hotel - The Impressionist Gallery, 1300 Robson Street with the applicant team and City staff available to answer any questions.

We welcome your written comments (letter or e-mail) on this development application. Comments should be received on, or before November 4, 2016, to be considered in the staff review. However, written comments will be considered up until the date of decision."


http://development.vancouver.ca/1488...n-postcard.pdf

http://development.vancouver.ca/1488...nrationale.pdf

http://development.vancouver.ca/1488...rojectdata.pdf

http://development.vancouver.ca/1488...s/siteplan.pdf

http://development.vancouver.ca/1488...ontextplan.pdf

http://development.vancouver.ca/1488...treetscape.pdf

http://development.vancouver.ca/1488...wanaylysis.pdf

http://development.vancouver.ca/1488...elevations.pdf

http://development.vancouver.ca/1488.../landscape.pdf
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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2016, 7:09 PM
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  #3  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2016, 7:29 PM
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Would they remove the wood and copper trimmings once this project is approved, like what Telus Garden did just to save on some costs?
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  #4  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2016, 3:57 PM
rofina rofina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin View Post
Would they remove the wood and copper trimmings once this project is approved, like what Telus Garden did just to save on some costs?
Lets hope not.

These actually look pretty good, and definitely more useful than Landmark.

IMHO - its projects like these that should be fast tracked, this is a total no brainer for the location.

Size appropriate, vastly more useful, decent looking. Just let them build already.
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  #5  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2016, 11:44 PM
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Will we see an implosion here?
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2016, 4:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rofina View Post
Lets hope not.

These actually look pretty good, and definitely more useful than Landmark.

IMHO - its projects like these that should be fast tracked, this is a total no brainer for the location.

Size appropriate, vastly more useful, decent looking. Just let them build already.
I really can't understand this attitude.

I feel like I could copy and paste this exact same sentiment from people in the 1960's / 70's when they were tearing down, at that time, similar aged structures and replacing them with newer and better ones!

Yes, these towers, just like many built in the 1960s / 70s on the graves of older buildings (that we now yearn for), are not bad. The thing is, we have soooooooo many other lots of much lower density currently occupied with forgettable 3 / 4 story structures in the same area that this project can go on instead. There is no need to tear down a tower that has been a landmark in the city for decades.

Several pics were just posted on the skyline page just the other day, and in all of them this tower was one of the interesting peaks, especially the night photos whth its lighting features.

Seriously people, have at least a little self awareness about how much your mentality echos exactly what happened 40 / 50 years ago.

Also, looking forward to losing even more unique retail space to more bland starbucks and dental offices that will be sure to occupy this new project's podium.
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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2016, 5:42 AM
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The Century Plaza hotel on Burrard or the Sandman at the stadium should go before we consider demolishing this.
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  #8  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2016, 2:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
I really can't understand this attitude.

I feel like I could copy and paste this exact same sentiment from people in the 1960's / 70's when they were tearing down, at that time, similar aged structures and replacing them with newer and better ones!

Yes, these towers, just like many built in the 1960s / 70s on the graves of older buildings (that we now yearn for), are not bad. The thing is, we have soooooooo many other lots of much lower density currently occupied with forgettable 3 / 4 story structures in the same area that this project can go on instead. There is no need to tear down a tower that has been a landmark in the city for decades.

Several pics were just posted on the skyline page just the other day, and in all of them this tower was one of the interesting peaks, especially the night photos whth its lighting features.

Seriously people, have at least a little self awareness about how much your mentality echos exactly what happened 40 / 50 years ago.

Also, looking forward to losing even more unique retail space to more bland starbucks and dental offices that will be sure to occupy this new project's podium.
Could not agree more. Was in Spain when I heard the news of this and was saddened and since returning have been looking at it from different angles and I've come to realize it's an intrinsic part of our heritage.

For many years it was very much a 'landmark', being the tallest in the West End by far! As a kid, a trip to the top and a meal in Cloud 9 was epic! The view were amazing, far better than Harbour Centre and the experience of making a complete circle in a hour was memorable. When it was a Sheraton, it was kept in immaculate condition but the owners of the Empire have done what Sears did to the Eaton's building, let it decay and become rather unsightly, hence creating a loss of respect for the tower. The 2000 updates now look more dated than the tower sections. I find the tower's small footprint and brutalist elements very pleasing and a nice break from a city of seafoam spradrel and soulless glazing.

In a few years we'll come to regret this demolition as few in-charge seem to recognize what is and what will become heritage until it's too late.

Is nothing safe at this point? What's next, The Blue Horizon, The Coast Plaza? Brutalism is now becoming highly regarded once again. The 1970's was Vancouver's brutalist decade lead by Erickson.

https://www.theguardian.com/artandde...-back-in-style

We stand to lose a huge symbol of brutalism and the early 1970's tower boom. Sad that is can't remain or be repurposed in it's existing form.
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  #9  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2016, 7:25 PM
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Brutalist structures need a colossal maintenance budget to look like anything beside concrete prisons, which goes completely against Vancouver's desire to build sustainably.

The Century, Sandman, Blue Horizon and Coast Plaza are generic and unassuming buildings to begin with (and have their concrete balanced out with glass) so they should be safe. The Empire, on the other hand, sticks out like a giant Brutalist vibrator wand - it doesn't even have any murals on the sides like the Continental did. It's a goner.

My only regret is that it's getting replaced with yet more cookie-cutter Jenga stacks.
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  #10  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2016, 7:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rofina View Post
Lets hope not.

These actually look pretty good, and definitely more useful than Landmark.

IMHO - its projects like these that should be fast tracked, this is a total no brainer for the location.

Size appropriate, vastly more useful, decent looking. Just let them build already.
How are more empty condos more useful than a hotel which helps support hundreds of tourism jobs?
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2016, 8:17 PM
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Cross-posting from Downtown Vancouver Udpates thread. Most of the discussion from there could have been moved in here, as this is a major project if approved.

I am not against those towers and would be happy to see them built without the current tower being demolished.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klazu View Post
I realized that I don't have too many photos of this building, but here are few I had for context.

The tower is definitely in need of renovation, but the overal shape and the height are really nice. It's a really skinny tower and could benefit from having more towers around it, but I don't want it to be replaced by some mediocre shit as the proposal is. Especially when right next door is a completely empty lot!





As seen from 45th floor of One Wall Centre with fog rolling in.





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  #12  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2016, 8:33 PM
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Having stayed there once many years ago, my guess would be that one major hurdle in re-purposing would be the very low ceilings. I remember them seeming very low, in the 7' range.

That said, I reiterate from my points above, it's a landmark brutalist tower very representative and reflective of the Erickson influenced brutalist slip-cast concrete trend in the early 70's in Vancouver and should be retained and as Metro-One mentioned, there are blocks of surrounding low-rise structures that would be far better suited to re-development.
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2016, 8:58 PM
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Originally Posted by connect2source View Post
... and as Metro-One mentioned, there are blocks of surrounding low-rise structures that would be far better suited to re-development.
I suspect that politics are involved. Replacing a tower with new ones (as opposed to keeping the old one and building even more) probably creates less blowback from the NIMBYs.
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  #14  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2016, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
I really can't understand this attitude.

I feel like I could copy and paste this exact same sentiment from people in the 1960's / 70's when they were tearing down, at that time, similar aged structures and replacing them with newer and better ones!

Yes, these towers, just like many built in the 1960s / 70s on the graves of older buildings (that we now yearn for), are not bad. The thing is, we have soooooooo many other lots of much lower density currently occupied with forgettable 3 / 4 story structures in the same area that this project can go on instead. There is no need to tear down a tower that has been a landmark in the city for decades.

Several pics were just posted on the skyline page just the other day, and in all of them this tower was one of the interesting peaks, especially the night photos whth its lighting features.

Seriously people, have at least a little self awareness about how much your mentality echos exactly what happened 40 / 50 years ago.

Also, looking forward to losing even more unique retail space to more bland starbucks and dental offices that will be sure to occupy this new project's podium.
5 years ago I would be writing your post.

This is why I immensely enjoy my Euro trips. The character/presence you get out of well restored, well preserved, re-purposed buildings is second to none.

Unfortunately, living and growing up in Vancouver, I realize the priorities in this city need to be vastly different than those of other cities.

Our problems are unique, our status is unique, our challenges are unique.

I will certainly agree that it would be nice to retain the tower and possibly repurpose into condo, or mix use.

However, I'm sure the numbers were ran and its either unfeasible because of structure, or otherwise.

So what would you propose? How can a property like this continue in a city like ours?

If it no longer makes business sense to run a Hotel, whats the future of this property other than redevelopment?
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  #15  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2016, 12:24 AM
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I'd love to see it become a rental tower or social housing. Give it a new shiny coat of paint and either leave the restaurant on top as is or make it a public observation deck?
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  #16  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2016, 12:47 AM
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I'd love to see it become a rental tower or social housing. Give it a new shiny coat of paint and either leave the restaurant on top as is or make it a public observation deck?
This is what I am thinking too. Low ceilings don't matter in rental or especially social housing. There could be and amazing number of small bachelor pads in the tower and the restaurant at top could remain!
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  #17  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2016, 12:59 AM
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Unhappy

Boy, won't it be a downer when the dismantling process really starts, and there are photoseries showing it happening? And all for two bland condo towers. Get the antidepressants ready.
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  #18  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2016, 9:22 AM
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In my case I wrote to city hall. I would encourage the rest of you to do so as well.
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  #19  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2016, 9:39 AM
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Bummer. Used to be one of the only things that broke up the tabletop view from the north shore. e.g.


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  #20  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2016, 11:17 PM
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I wish it was being replaced with one tall tower . God knows we have the market for it.

I bet that if a taller or a tower just as tall as the Landmark was proposed, we would all be having a different discussion.
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