Another old, low-end hotel property in downtown Vancouver has been snapped up by the provincial government to house individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
Through multiple sources, Daily Hive Urbanized has exclusively learned that Ramada Limited Vancouver Downtown at 435 West Pender Street will become supportive housing.
Separately, the hotel operator also confirmed that the property will cease its operations before the end of the month due to a sale to a buyer, whose identity could not be disclosed. The last available dates for guest bookings is this weekend.
BC Housing has also confirmed to Daily Hive Urbanized that it is indeed in the process of finalizing the deal for the acquisition.
“The Province, through BC Housing, is in the process of purchasing 435 West Pender Street in Vancouver,” reads a statement to Daily Hive Urbanized.
“Once purchased, BC Housing will be sharing information on our future plans for the site, as well as reaching out to the neighbourhood with details on how they can learn more. We look forward to connecting with the community soon.”
Furthermore, BC Housing states it is encouraging Ramada staff to reach out to their management to learn more about the transition.
“If in the future, BC Housing or an operator requires staff, we would be happy to support employees and they are welcome to apply,” continues the statement.
There are two Ramada hotel properties within downtown. Not to be confused for the Ramada by Wyndham Vancouver Downtown in the Granville Entertainment District, the hotel being acquired is located near the northeast corner of West Pender Street and Richards Street — right next to the MacLeod’s bookstore.
The 1912-built, six-storey building has 80 guest rooms. Based on the one-for-one room conversions of previous hotel acquisitions by BC Housing, it is expected that there will be approximately 80 beds for homeless and other vulnerable individuals.
The sale price for the property is not known at this time, but the mid-block property has an assessed value of $14.2 million, with $9.24 million for the land and $4.95 million for the structure.
Other low-end hotel properties that have been recently acquired by levels of government for the homeless include the 110-room Howard Johnson Hotel at 1176 Granville Street for $55 million, the 63-room Buchan Hotel at 1906 Haro Street for $19.4 million, and the American Hotel at 928 Main Street and an adjacent lot for $17.9 million.
Early this month, the federal and municipal governments announced the acquisition of the Days Inn at 2075 Kingsway — a 1949-built, two-storey motel building with 66 rooms. It will be renovated into supportive housing by the end of the year.
The acquisition of low-end hotel properties enables the quick availability of accommodations, as opposed to the longer timelines for new permanent construction or even temporary modular housing. Most of the aforementioned properties are also being eyed for future purpose-built affordable housing developments over the long term.