Click to enlarge (with thanks to Asia Standard)

Vancouver’s 40+ year-old Empire Landmark hotel is slowly going down, starting this month.  It’s 42 storeys will be demolished in situ, which will take a year using snazzy hi-tech new Swedish equipment involving robotics, called the Brokk system (video).
Find out more about the demolition project and its unique tech:

  • Friday March 9
  • 4 pm to 6:30 pm
  • Listel Hotel, 1300 Robson St.

The job is in the hands of JMX Contracting, and the owner/developer, Asia Standard Americas.  Asia Standard is based in Hong Kong, and HERE is their 2017 Annual Report.

From the 2017 Annual Report:
Business Model and Strategies:  Build on our reputation and track record of premium property development in Hong Kong and China.
. . .  In Canada, our Empire Landmark Hotel will be redeveloped into a mixed-use development that comprise mainly residential condominium. We expect the pre-sale of this development to be commenced in the second half of the financial year ending March 2018.

[Update] More pix from architects PDP London (thanks to Changing City).
The resulting boring, generic condo development will bring 388,000 s.f. (FSR 9.47) of new residential space to Vancouver, both commercial and social.  As to the commercial units, Asia Standard describes their other residential properties with terms like:  luxury, elite, manicured, prestigious, low-density, world-class designs, exceptional details, customized amenities and so on.  I do get the picture, very clearly.
The City Development Permit Board approved THIS report June 12, 2017 for proposed  work at 1488 Robson Street (Empire Landmark Hotel).  Submitted by Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership (designers of the Vancouver Trump tower).  The project is to develop 2 mixed-use buildings (31 and 32 storey towers) that include 300 dwelling units.  Proposed are 237 market units (or is that investment opportunities), plus 63 social housing, since increased to 82. With retail use on ground floor, and office use on the second and third floors, all over three levels of underground parking accessed from the lane and also requesting an increase in the Floor Space Ratio using a Heritage Density Transfer from a donor site at 12 Water Street (providing 35,800 sq. ft.).   The project envisions around 300 parking spaces for cars and 362 for bicycles.
On Nov 28, 2017, Council heard, and subsequently approved, a REPORT recommending purchase of air space at the site, intended to increase social housing to 82 units.


  1. A correction. The Trump Tower was designed by Arthur Erickson. It was his last built work. The design was originally for the developer who had the Ritz Carlton lined up, but then the 2008 meltdown happened and the project financing collapsed, and there was a hiatus before The Donald showed interest in selling his name to the project. Musson Cattell MacKey was likely the managing firm that put the tower out to tender and managed construction after Erickson passed off this mortal coil, but with his design intact.
    It’s very sad that the T-word de-graces this building.
    There is some conjecture that Erickson borrowed the twist idea from Santiago Calatrava who designed a tower in Malmo Sweden with a much tighter twist. Erickson’s was a more graceful 3/4 of one degree over 60 storeys, giving it a 45 degree turn overall.

    1. Arthur Erickson sketched a suggestion for how the tower could be designed so that it could avoid the viewcone that runs across the upper part of the site. (James Cheng designed the Shangri La across the street as a wedge, to avoid the same viewcone); It was purely a design concept. MCM (Musson Cattell Mackey) and DYSA jointly designed the building that was built.
      The Hong Kong office of PDP London, an international architecture firm, designed the new Landmark buildings, and MCM are the local design partners and architects of record.

      1. I remember ads for the ‘Ritz Carlton’ building (now Trump) with Erickson posing with the model (or an illustration). Erickson was part of the marketing.

        1. Indeed; the marketing material in 2007 for the Ritz-Carlton version had his picture under the slogan ‘Arthur Erickson will change the skyline of Vancouver forever’. The list of projects on the website with his name, describes it as ‘conceptual design’ in 2005. Associate architects: Nick Milkovich Architects, MCM, and DYS Architecture. He probably wasn’t registered as an architect at that point his life.

    2. How ironic: ” The Trump Tower was designed by Arthur Erickson. It was his last built work. ”
      Another legacy for Mr. Trump .. this time in Vancouver.

  2. I’d be on board if the development came with a new revolving restaurant to replace the old one. As it is – as much I hate brutalism – we’re replacing a significant landmark with another generic James Cheng high rise.

  3. Looks like a great building, but typical for high density Vancouver ie a mix of “affordable” (or this now called “social housing” ?) and high-end, incl. commercial and retail. Close to beach, shopping AND Stanley Park. Great location commanding superior prices on the top floors with awesome sunset views.
    What is not to like ?
    It’ll set a new trend in pricing as now 25% of teh condos have to be sub-market valued, ie rentals, thus pushing up the remaining 75%, and thus, everything old too. What are the rental rates imposed, if any ?
    We’ll see 20 more like this and if we ever allowed this in E-Van then that part of town could be cleaned up too ! Why don’t we ? W set a good precedent. Let’s do 15 more Ws there ..

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