After being in the works for several years, a proposal to build a new hotel in Vancouver's Broadway Corridor now appears closer to fruition, according to a new development application published by the City of Vancouver on Monday.

The subject site of the proposal is 901 West Broadway at the intersection with Laurel Street — which leads directly to Vancouver General Hospital one block south — and directly across the street from the future Oak-VGH Station that's being constructed as part of the Broadway Subway Project.

The site is currently home to two low-rise commercial building originally constructed in 1929, according to BC Assessment, whose latest assessment values the property at $57,023,100. One building is occupied by the New India Buffet, Bar, and Restaurant, while the other is occupied by Gymbox.

The redevelopment plans are being advanced by Hallmark Hospitality Group, who own the site under 1130962 BC Ltd. Hallmark Hospitality also owns the Quality Inn & Suites Downtown Vancouver at 1221 Granville Street, as well as two hotels in Alberta and one in Ontario, according to the company's website.

The 901 W Broadway site.The 901 W Broadway site.(Zeidler Architecture, Hallmark Hospitality Group)

Proposed for the site is a 12-storey hotel that is expected to have 151 rooms, a restaurant on the ground floor, and three levels of underground parking with a total of 41 vehicle parking stalls and 18 bicycle parking stalls. The total proposed density is a 7.93 FSR.

The rezoning application was submitted to the City of Vancouver in December 2020 and was for a 12-storey hotel with 147 rooms and slightly more vehicle parking spaces. The rezoning was approved in July 2022.

Guest amenities are expected to include meeting rooms, a lounge, and a fitness area. According to Hallmark Hospitalty's website, the hotel will be under the AC Hotel by Marriott brand.

Vancouver-based Zeidler Architecture is serving as the architect of the project, who note that the building will appear as an 11-storey building when viewed from W Broadway because the site slopes downward at the rear of the site, down Laurel Street, resulting in the lower lobby level to be mostly underground.

Describing the built form, the architects say that the proposed hotel consists of a wood block building that's carved and wrapped with a shimmering facade, all of which sits atop a solid brick podium. The western side of the building will also have a notable carved and stepped design. At the rezoning stage, BC Hydro informed City staff and the applicant that some of the space on the rear side of the building had to be shaved off in order to accommodate a vista switch. That lost space was added to the western side of the building.

A ground-level view of the hotel proposed for 901 W Broadway.A ground-level view of the hotel proposed for 901 W Broadway.(Zeidler Architecture, Hallmark Hospitality Group)

The hotel proposed for 901 W Broadway in Vancouver.The hotel proposed for 901 W Broadway in Vancouver.(Zeidler Architecture, Hallmark Hospitality Group)

The hotel proposed for 901 W Broadway in Vancouver.The hotel proposed for 901 W Broadway in Vancouver.(Zeidler Architecture, Hallmark Hospitality Group)

Unlike many of the recent hotel development proposals, this hotel is intended to serve the needs of Vancouver General Hospital, the developers say in their application, whereas other recent proposals, such as the Listel Hotel redevelopment, are located in the downtown Vancouver and are geared towards tourists.

Oftentimes, people who need more complex treatments may need to travel, and thus require lodging nearby. Just last week, Vancouver City Councillor Pete Fry introduced a motion called "Housing Is Healthcare," which asked the City to better consider "opportunities where density bonusing and similar incentives could stimulate the creation of housing and accommodations for patients needing to travel to major medical centres in Vancouver."

"In 2022, there were 465 organ transplants in BC," Fry points out in his motion, citing BC Transplant statistics. "34% of those transplant patients were from outside of the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health Authorities, and 100% of those transplants occurred in Vancouver. Over the course of their treatment, the typical transplant patient is required to stay near, but not in hospital for three months."

For the City, the project will be subject to both development cost levies (DCLs) and community amenity contributions (CACs). In a 2022 rezoning report, staff estimated the DCLs to amount to $1,923,453, but the number is likely higher now due to DCLs being payable at the rates at the time of building permit issuance. According to staff, the applicant proposed a cash contribution of $603,637, based on the net increase in allowable commercial floor area.

The City is accepting public comment on the 901 W Broadway hotel proposal until Tuesday, February 27,

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