A proposed 464-room hotel development on Vancouver’s Granville Street aims to help spark new life into the city’s main entertainment and music district.
Vancouver-based Deecorp Properties hopes to redevelop several properties at the junction of Davie and Granville streets to build a 33-storey tower that, if approved, would include two hotels.
The proposal comes as broader plans take shape at City Hall to return Granville to its former glory.
717 Davie St. is the project address the developers are hoping to achieve from the rezoning process. The project, submitted by Musson Cattell Mackey Architects on behalf of Deecorp, includes consolidating the addresses of 1169-1191 Granville St.
Building a hotel project at this location is an obvious choice, said Stanley Dee, founder of Deecorp.
"We are at the crossroads of two important entertainment streets," he said in an interview, referring to Granville and Davie.
The area has a thriving food and nightlife scene that continues to orbit around live performance venues and the new hotel will help catalyze more renewal on the street, Dee said.
City aims to help revive entertainment district
Granville Street is home to popular and long-standing music venues including the Vogue Theatre and the Commodore Ballroom (as well as The Orpheum on nearby Smythe Street).
Still a popular nightlife destination, the street has been struggling in recent years with storefront vacancy and episodes of public disorder.
The street lost its Nordstrom anchor at CF Pacific Centre shopping centre in June when the retailer shuttered its entire Canadian operations.
To breathe new life into the district, the City of Vancouver earlier this year started a planning process on a new vision for a length of Granville in the downtown core.
The Granville Street Planning program says it “aims to re-establish Granville as an exciting, welcoming, safe and inclusive downtown destination."
Another driving factor for this project is that downtown Vancouver faces an overall shortage of hotel rooms, Dee said.
Dee said his company's project is in line with council's direction to prioritize and expedite hotel developments during Granville Street Planning.
He said this development doubles the existing number of hotel rooms on Granville and will help to attract year-round visitors to the neighbourhood.
Many more hotel rooms required
Destination Vancouver, the city's tourism office, said in research released earlier this year that demand for hotel rooms in the summer will surpass available rooms by 2028 if new supply doesn’t increase.
It says that by 2040, demand would outpace available rooms year-round if the number of rooms fails to go up significantly.
The region requires nearly 21,000 new rooms by 2040 to keep pace with that demand and mitigate lost spending.
Earlier this year, Marcon submitted a rezoning application to build a 32-storey hotel at 516-534 W. Pender St. and 509 Richard St. that would include 578 rooms if it proceeds.
Jane Talbot, president and CEO of Downtown Van, the local business improvement organization, said Deecorp's hotel proposal would help Granville evolve as a nightlife and entertainment district.
“Downtown Van has partnered closely with the City of Vancouver on the Granville Street Planning Program and shares the same commitment to re-establishing the district's reputation as a dynamic, fun and welcoming place to gather,” Talbot said in a release.
“Not only would this development bring tourists conveniently to the doorstep of our entertainment district, but a hotel would contribute to an improved 24-hour sense of security for pedestrians in the area.”
Launched in 1994, Deecorp says it acquires, develops, finances and manages a portfolio of assets valued at more than $300 million.
The company’s first project was the development of Robson Landmark at the intersection of Robson and Thurlow in downtown Vancouver.
Dee said his team works with patient investment partners.
"We select what we think will be great sites to work with and we hold them for a long time and we redevelop them at the right time," he said.