Published Jan 09, 2013In news that's bound to come as a major shock to Vancouver concertgoers, the Waldorf Hotel is facing imminent closure after being sold to a real estate development company.
The East Vancouver facility, which was built in 1947, was renovated and reopened under new management in October 2010 and had experienced a resurgence as a concert venue and cultural hub.
Despite the fresh start, a press release explains that the Waldorf experienced a financially difficult first year. While the landlord had initially been sympathetic to these growing pains and the facility was on its way to "growing into an economically viable and profitable business," his attitude reportedly changed in August 2012.
Despite initially signing a 15-year lease, the hotel was sold to condominium developer Solterra Group of Companies, meaning that it is set to suffer a similar fate as the late Richard's on Richards and be turned into a condo complex.
Thomas Anselmi, one of the partners behind the relaunching of the Waldorf, said in a statement, "Solterra were unwilling to sit down and discuss negotiating long-term lease possibilities. We were offered a week-to-week lease until September 2013, when the property must be delivered vacant. We obviously can't move forward under these conditions as our business requires commitments to artists, organizations and entertainers months in advance. This has cost 60 people their jobs. This has destroyed our business."
Anselmi added: "The irony that the Waldorf was taken over by a condo developer in the very area we helped reinvigorate is obvious to anyone. The Waldorf filled a void. People responded because they needed it. We tried to stand for something authentic and real in a city with thousands of empty condominiums and a community starved for cultural spaces.
In addition to being a concert venue, the Waldorf was home to a hotel, nightclub, tiki bar, restaurant, recording studio, art gallery, liquor store and barber shop.
The Waldorf is set to close its doors for good on January 20.
The Waldorf's Ernesto Gomez said, "We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all the people who supported the Waldorf since we reopened our doors. We're extremely proud of all the artists and events that we've hosted over last two and a half years. We're extremely proud of our incredible staff who helped to execute world class events."