Market Mondays: Hotel Vancouver Up For SalePosted: June 23, 2014
The iconic Hotel Vancouver is on the market. Owned by Canada’s second largest pension fund, the historic hotel is for sale as the fund seeks to reduce its hotel holdings. Also for sale by the same owner is the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria and the Royal York in Toronto. Apparently, the owners wish remove themselves from the hotel business, especially older properties, where the upkeep and remodeling costs can be staggering.
No price has been released nor any estimate by the owners on the present value of the properties, but one would expect a sale price in excess of $100 million. All the properties will continue to be managed by the Fairmont chain, who have a decades long management agreement in place and will have to approve the final buyer to ensure they have the financial capacity to maintain such a venture.
The Hotel Vancouver is one of Vancouver’s most recognized buildings. Completed in 1939, it took 11 years to complete, including a 5 year delay caused by the after effects of the Great Depression. During the 5 year delay, the uncompleted structure loomed over the city as a constant reminder of hard times, much like the incomplete steel and glass buildings scattered about Las Vegas in modern times. Or the empty houses and businesses prevalent in many US cities, such as Detroit and New Orleans.
The original cost to build the hotel was $12 million, which is apparently the same amount the current owners spent to recently renovate the restaurant and lounge areas of the building. We have a personal connection to the hotel, as Randy’s grandmother worked in the restaurant as a waitress for over 25 years, beginning in the 1940’s. During the time she worked there, she became well-known to the business men and politicians who frequented the establishment. Her retirement lunch, held in the restaurant, drew the mayor and many other dignitaries to say goodbye. She was even mentioned in the Vancouver Sun Newspaper. Not bad for an Italian immigrant with a grade eight education!
For more information on the Hotel Vancouver, visit the Fairmont Web Site at: Historic Hotel Vancouver