March 4, 2019

Our Falling and Rising Towers

Towers go up, towers come down – like the Landmark on Robson, going, going …


On the other side of the peninsula, Vancouver House nears completion.


At ground level, it’s already evident that the podium and low-rise infill buildings – their volumes shaped by the Granville bridge ramps – could have a bigger impact on this downtown district than the tower itself.


Posted in


If you love this region and have a view to its future please subscribe, donate, or become a Patron.

Share on


Leave a Reply to AdanacCancel Reply

  1. Vancouver has had a fairly drastic net reduction in hotel rooms in the city over the last decade. This is one more blow to the hotel market.

    1. There’s been a reduction in the total number of hotel rooms, but it’s not huge. Sixteen hotels in the City of Vancouver have closed, converted to other uses (some as non-market housing) or stopped taking short term guests in the past decade, with 2,004 rooms. Eight new hotels have opened, with 1,191 rooms, so that’s a net loss of 813 rooms.

      There are four hotels under construction, with 441 rooms, and five more proposed with another 638 rooms, so if they get built there will be a small net gain, (assuming no more close in the meantime). There are also identified hotel sites as part of the Plaza of Nations and the new St Paul’s Hospital campus.

      Obviously there have been several thousand Airbnb rooms (and apartments) offered in that period, and the latest look at the data suggests there are still plenty operating. Mostly, it would appear, they now operate legally.

  2. The whole area has already changed probably anticipating this building.
    I wonder what’s going to go in that former gas station lot on the corner of Howe and Beach.
    I’m looking forward to the rotating chandelier. The underside of the bridge might need some cleaning.

    1. Hopefully, the gas station will be demolished and a green space with trees will be added. It’s a real eyesore for the residents of the Discovery that have to look at this mess! The expense from living here does not warrant the ugly building owned by owners offshore! Furthermore, when residents move into Vancouver House will they be happy with what they have to view. I don’t think so!

  3. Good that you noted the podium and ground plane that is now taking shape and how this will bring life to the Bridge underside. The full picture of what this development has achieved from the public’s standpoint is described in a comment I provided to your earlier Looming Tower post which you brought forward (March 21, 2018 “Segal: Density, Design and Public Benefit”). I’ll look forward to another series of posts on tall towers when Bing Thom’s “Butterfly” tower (556 ft. height- mentioned in the same comment) starts to appear on the skyline. Two excellent examples under the City’s Higher Building Policy where additional density and height was truly earned through not only design excellence but a broad range of public benefits.

  4. Good Post.
    One of the last pieces of policy I worked on with my team at the City was an interim policy on hotels.
    Hotels, conferences and visitors are a very significant part of our economy. In a period of challenges with housing affordability, supporting our economy is also important so folks are employed and have an income to rent or buy and live in Vancouver.
    We engaged a number of stakeholders including Tourism Vancouver and they were particularly concerned about the escalation in hotel room rates and the loss of hotels in a variety of locations and mid-range prices ie “Tourist Hotels” like the Landmark…this is how we did our best to capture Tourism Vancouver’s advice:
    “Tourism Vancouver has experienced, and is predicting increased
    challenges in securing room blocks for conferences and tour operator reservations at
    competitive prices. If this trend continues, it will become difficult to reliably secure major citywide
    conference bookings. Continued lack of accommodation supply, either for hotel rooms or short term rentals may lead to constrained growth in the leisure tourism and hospitality industry.”

    1. It’s true. My family would usually stay in Vancouver or Burnaby when we came down from Kamloops, but the room rates are much higher these days, if you can find a room. These days, we stay in Abbotsford and just drive into the City for the day, saving us $200/night.