Council prevents Waldorf demolition for 4 months
Published Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:58AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 15, 2013 1:54PM PST
Vancouver City Council has blocked the Waldorf Hotel from any demolishment for four months while it looks at other options for saving the East Vancouver cultural hub.
Council approved a 120-day temporary protection order Tuesday which prevents demolition of the multi-use facility while a heritage assessment is conducted.
The hotel is not currently a heritage site, council said. A spokesman for Solterra Group, the condo developer that recently purchased the site, said the company has no plans to demolish the hotel, but City Manager Penny Ballem said an anti-demolition clause is the best way to go.
Currently the site is zoned mixed-commercial and industrial. Solterra won’t be allowed to apply for rezoning for a year because the community plan for that area is not complete, Ballem said.
But until Tuesday’s decision, the new owners could have applied for a demolition permit at any time, and the city would have had to grant it because the Waldorf does not have heritage status.
The current leaseholders issued a statement Wednesday saying they will vacate the site on Jan. 20.
The partners said they were offered a chance to rent the space on a weekly basis until September, but argued running the Waldorf’s popular bar and dual nightclub spaces would be impossible without the ability to book acts months in advance.
Daniel Fazio, Thomas Anselmi, Ernesto Gomez and Scott Cohen took over operation of the hotel in 2010. They said they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating it and turned what was once considered a dive bar into a thriving cultural hub.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Nafeesa Karim