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Empire Landmark on Robson Street poised to be demolished

The Empire Landmark (Courtesy Empire Landmark)
Summary

A high-rise hotel on Robson could be replaced by two condo towers, if the owners have their way.

Given the prices fetched for them in Vancouver, it's not surprising a hotel on Robson may be replaced by condos.

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A high-rise hotel on Robson could be replaced by two condo towers, if the owners have their way.

The 42-storey Empire Landmark is 44 years old and features a rotating restaurant.

The property owners, Asia Standard International Group, want to build two high-rises, one 28 storey, the other 30 storeys on the site.

Urban developer Michael Geller says in this real estate climate, demolishing the hotel and building condos is a no brainer.

“Developers are willing to pay $400 per square foot for the land then another $300 per foot square foot for construction, because they can sell the resulting condo for $1,200 a square foot or more.”

Built in 1973, the tower is aging. Geller says its status as a three-star hotel means it’s difficult for it to turn a profit, given certain competitors.

“I have a feeling Airbnb is a factor in this story. Increasingly, more and more people are staying in Airbnb accommodation. The lower quality hotels are beginning to lose out.”

The city will take a look the developer’s proposal in December. The plans call for 280 suites, including 57 social housing units.