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1 Mar

Vancouver’s Empire Landmark Hotel begins ‘quiet’ demolition in March

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Posted by: Shahin Golestani

Vancouver’s Empire Landmark Hotel, home to the Cloud 9 Revolving Restaurant until its final spin last October, will undergo a slow demolition process beginning in March.

The 42-storey hotel, at 1400 Robson St., is only 43 years old, but with downtown real estate prices going up, its owners have decided the building needs to come down. It will be the tallest building to be demolished in Vancouver history.

It may also be one of the slowest. Rather than a quick controlled implosion, which would scatter debris and likely coat much of the West End in dust, developer Asia Standard Americas has opted for a quiet, controlled demolition to take place over the span of a year.

The demolition will be conducted using the Brokk system, which trusts much of the work to remote-controlled robotics. Often used in Europe, Brokk Inc. claims its machines “take the danger out of demolition by allowing you to control the unit from a safe distance with split-second accuracy.”

Through this system, a concrete crusher will start at the top and work its way down, floor by floor, with dust and debris controlled by pushing the concrete through the elevator shaft before removal from the site.

A Youtube video of the Brokk 90 demolition robot demonstrates the slow and steady nature of the demolition process through this system.

How will traffic on Robson Street be affected? Only minimally, the developers say. Per a community announcement posted at the site, “for the first three months, the only traffic impact will be trucks using the back lane.”

And even then, the developers say trucks will keep to one side, allowing cars and pedestrians to pass through.

Additional questions and concerns will be answered at a public open house, scheduled for Friday, March 9 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 pm. It will be held at the Listel Hotel at 1300 Robson St., a block from the demolition site.

Demolition of the tower is slated to take nearly a calendar year, ending in approximately February 2019.

Once the process is complete, construction will begin on the two towers, at 31 and 32 stories, with 237 market condos, 63 social housing units, and retail and office space on the bottom three floors.


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