Amacon condo and hotel development rendering
Rendering of the Catholic Charities building redevelopment at Robson and Cambie, featuring a 29-storey tower and hotel.

Plans for a mixed-use condo and hotel development at the former Catholic Charities building on the edge of Yaletown have finally been revealed.

Developer Amacon purchased the former home of the Catholic archdiocese in Vancouver in 2014. The property is made up of two buildings, the former Northern Electric Company building with its red brick exterior, built in two phases in 1928 and 1947, as well as a smaller commercial building currently home to the “Back Forty” pub.

Although the Catholic Charities building is listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register in the “B” category, it is not designated. 

Amacon says it will retain the Catholic Charities building, and bring it up to standard by preserving and restoring the Robson, Cambie and laneway façades. The windows will be replaced with metal windows, and entryways on Cambie and Robson will be made wider with a “more modern design.”

The interior of the Catholic Charities building is said to have little heritage value remaining after renovations several decades ago. It will be converted into a boutique hotel, connected to a new six storey hotel building on the corner of Beatty and Robson streets. The hotel operator has not yet been named, but Amacon already operates the Loden Hotel in Coal Harbour. A coffee shop, hotel lounge and restaurant is planned for the ground floor.

Amacon condo and hotel development rendering
Rendering of the Catholic Charities building redevelopment at Robson and Cambie, featuring a 29-storey tower and hotel.
Amacon condo and hotel development rendering
Rendering of the Catholic Charities building redevelopment at Robson and Cambie, featuring a 29-storey tower and hotel.
Site plan redevelopment
Site plan for the redevelopment of the former Catholic Charities building at the corner of Robson and Cambie.
Amacon condo and hotel development rendering
Rendering of the Catholic Charities building redevelopment at Robson and Cambie, featuring a 29-storey tower and hotel.

Atop the hotel will be a 29-storey residential tower with 131 residential units, ranging from small one bedrooms under 500 square feet, to large two and three bedroom penthouse units. Marketing has not yet begun for presales at the upcoming building.

In rezoning documents, GBL Architects says the new tower will be mindful of the heritage character of the building it stands on. 

“Though maintaining a uniform tower profile, the massing is broken down by carefully shifting the balconies and varying the skin treatment of the façade, creating movement throughout the tower form. The area of linear balconies increase on the south elevation to address the sun exposure.”

Heritage consultants are proposing a public art piece to recognize the significance of the former Northern Electric building. 

“This may include use of historic photos and memorabilia as part of a designed installation and may include stories about the history of the building. Options for exploration include panels or installation in metal, glass, set into the floor (or the pavement outside) or a media piece (video info screen).”

Comments on the proposed development can be submitted to the City of Vancouver here.