Two aging hotels near the Lions Gate Bridge in North Vancouver are set to be redeveloped into one new hotel and one rental high-rise, according to a preliminary development application submitted to the District of North Vancouver by Vancouver-based Chard Development.
According to the District, Chard submitted a preliminary application in October 2021, and staff completed the initial review by June 2022, but Chard did not submit a full application until March 27, 2023.
The subject site is 1634-1748 Capilano Road, near the intersection with Marine Drive. The Sure Stay Hotel By Best Western currently occupies 1634 Capilano Road, while the Econo Lodge Inn & Suites occupies 1748 Capilano Road. BC Assessment records show that the two two-storey hotels were originally built in 1964 and 1974, respectively.
The original proposal for the 1634 Capilano site was a 24-storey mixed-use building with 177 strata condominiums, 72 market rental units, 20 rent-to-own units, and six non-market rental units, atop a nine-storey podium with 9,725 sq. ft of commercial space, and three levels of underground parking with 240 spaces.
That is now being adjusted to a 26-storey mixed-use building with 382 market rental units, atop a seven-storey podium, with 5,905 sq. ft of commercial retail space at grade, and two levels of underground parking with 209 spaces.
According to the application cover letter submitted to the District of North Vancouver by Chard President and CEO Byron Chard, the 382 units will consist of 44 studio units, 204 one-bedroom units, 94 two-bedroom units, and 40 three-bedroom units.
Addressing the change from including strata condominiums to going completely rental, Chard pointed to a series of statistics about the District of North Vancouver (where he says he currently resides):
- The proportion of people who work in the DNV but live elsewhere increased from 41% in 2016 to 65% in 2021;
- The DNV’s population growth between 2016 to 2021 was only 2.9%, well below the 7.3% growth rate for the Vancouver CMA;
- Since 2016, the benchmark apartment sale price has increased by 65%, while the average rental unit rent has increased by 42%;
- The reported average household income in the DNV in 2021 was $123,000;
- The current benchmark condo sale price in the DNV is $749,000, requiring an average household income of $139,099 to qualify for home ownership.
“The facts presented above clearly suggest that a lack of attainable housing alternatives on the North Shore has limited population growth, increased the cost of home ownership, increased the number of individuals commuting to and from the north shore to work, and placed a significant strain on the availability of rental housing,” Chard wrote. “The continued lack of housing supply and affordability has pushed much needed professionals — including scientific, technical services, health care, and social assistance professionals — out of the DNV.”
Chard says that this proposal and the change from including strata condos to full rental is a “direct response” to this newfound reality.
For the 1748 Capilano site (Econo Lodge Inn & Suites), the original proposal was for a 12-storey hotel with 140 hotel rooms, five rental townhouses, and 3,500 sq. ft of commercial space, atop two levels of underground parking with 139 spaces.
The updated proposal is for a 12-storey hotel with 150 hotel rooms, 3,419 sq. ft of commercial space, over top levels of underground parking with 130 spaces.
Along with the two buildings, Chard will also add dedicated bike lines, add a protected sidewalk, and extend the existing Curling Road through the site, between the two buildings. Chard also says that their construction approach will be fully-electrified and fossil fuel-free.
Following the workshop with the Committee of Council on March 27, Chard will now prepare a Detailed Application. After it is submitted, the District will then hold a public info session, before Council formally considers the Official Community Plan amendment that’s needed for the project and issues an official development permit.
Howard is a Staff Writer at STOREYS. He is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has also written about media for One Zero and international politics for WhoWhatWhy. Before STOREYS, he was also the Deputy Editor of 604 Now.