Langley-based developer Marcon has filed a rezoning application with the City of Vancouver to develop a new 32-storey hotel in Downtown Vancouver, in hopes of addressing the City's much-needed shortage of hotel rooms.

The proposed hotel would sit on 516-534 West Pender Street and 509 Richards Street, diagonally-across the street from Cathedral Square and a five-minute walk away from Waterfront Station, on the eastern edge of the Central Business District, in close proximity to Harbour Centre, the Vancouver Convention Centre and Canada Place.

The site is currently occupied by a six-storey parkade, a two-storey mixed-use building, and an eight-storey office building. The buildings are referred to as the Captain Pybus Building and the Lumbermen's Building, both of which were constructed in the early 1900s.

Marcon Richards West Pender Street Downtown Vancouver Hotel - Site ContextAerial view of the site for the proposed hotel in Vancouver. (Marcon / Henriquez Partners Architects)

According to Marcon, the Lumbermen's Building will be retained, while the Captain Pybus Building will be incorporated into the new hotel. Marcon is seeking to consolidate the three parcels, and rezone the site from DD (Downtown) to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development).

The proposed mixed-use building would be 32-storeys, with 576 hotel units, nearly 45,000 sq. ft of office space, over 20,000 sq. ft of commercial space, and six levels of underground parking with 146 vehicle parking stalls and 91 bicycle stalls. The total proposed floor space ratio is 22.81.

Marcon W Pender & Richards Street Downtown Vancouver Hotel (4)

Marcon W Pender & Richards Street Downtown Vancouver Hotel (3)(Marcon / Henriquez Partners Architects)

The P6 level will also house several cycling facilities, including storage space, washing stations, bicycle maintenance facilities, end-of-trip facilities, and a dedicated bicycle elevator.

The lobby of the hotel will be on the ground floor, which will also house restaurant space. The second floor will house hotel staff offices and other operational rooms, while the third floor will then house multi-purpose conference rooms of various sizes.

Floors four through 10 and 12 through 29 will house a majority of the hotel rooms. The eleventh floor will be home to a restaurant and bar with an outdoor deck, while floors 30 and 31 will then include hotel amenity space and some office space.

Marcon W Pender & Richards Street Downtown Vancouver Hotel (2)

Marcon W Pender & Richards Street Downtown Vancouver Hotel (1)(Marcon / Henriquez Partners Architects)

Marcon says that "new hotels are desperately needed in Vancouver to address a recent decline in hotel rooms and to support the recovery of the tourism industry," and that its proposal would contribute to that, while also bringing employment benefits to the local economy downtown, both during construction and once the hotel is operational.

According to a 2020 State of Downtown report by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, hotel occupancy fell from 80% in 2019 to 27% in 2020, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic's travel restrictions, of course. Since then, numerous hotels have permanently closed and some have also been acquired by BC Housing and converted in temporary supportive housing.

READ: The Entire History of Vancouver’s Granville Street, And Its Envisioned Future

Looming over this hotel shortage is the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which Vancouver will be hosting alongside 16 other cities across Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Last year, a 30-storey hotel was proposed for 848 Seymour Street, a few blocks away from where Marcon's proposed hotel would sit, with the development team on that project also citing the shortage of hotel rooms.

Vancouver-based Henriquez Partners Architects will be serving as the architect for Marcon's project, who say that the proposed hotel's architectural form "will strengthen the urban fabric of the downtown core while making a significant contribution to the beauty and visual power of the city within the overall dome shape of the city's skyline."

Marcon W Pender & Richards Street Downtown Vancouver Hotel (5)(Marcon / Henriquez Partners Architects)

Henriquez also says the materials used for the proposed building are inspired by the historical context of Victory Square and Gastown, to the east, which feature "a rich tapestry of warm colours and natural materials." The design also makes architectural references to the Lumbermen's Building.

The City of Vancouver will be hosting a virtual open house on this proposed project from Wednesday, April 19 to Tuesday, May 2.

Development Projects