The historic Spencer Building, part of the iconic Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver, is being put to new use.
Polaris Realty announced recently that it has received its Development Permit from the City of Vancouver and the Spencer Building Carrier Hotel is now set to become British Columbia’s newest state-of-the-art connectivity hub.
The news serves as a completion marker both for the development of the data centre—which serves to expand Harbour Centre’s existing infrastructure and connectivity in Western Canada, according to a statement from Polaris—and the preservation of the historic building itself.
The permit is a milestone along the multi-year, multi-million dollar rehabilitation project of the iconic Spencer Building, which was originally built in 1907. In 2016, a special heritage conservation plan was enacted to preserve the building’s gothic revival and art deco exterior—including restoring the masonry and stone sculptures and ornaments.
“It’s important to us to do things the right way and to go through the proper processes, as a sign of respect to such a historic building,” says Harbour Centre’s Director of Operations, Antonio Dal Sasso. “This is a heritage building that has served as one of the city’s business hubs for over 100 years.”
The building has served as a Spencer, Eaton’s, and Sears department store, as well as a downtown campus for Simon Fraser University.
“Receiving this permit allows us to take the next step in our journey,” stated Chris Jones, Director of Data Center Infrastructure & Operations for Spencer Building Carrier Hotel. “Our facility will provide access to all the carriers, network operators, cloud onramps and other service providers in order to do business on the West Coast and beyond.”
The data centre will run 20,000 feet of fibres across multiple floors of the Spencer Building, expanding on 60,000 square feet of data centres currently housed at the location.
“In addition to offering gateways to Asia and other destinations, Spencer Building Carrier Hotel will serve as the primary Canadian landing point for the brand new Cascadia fibre trunk, connecting us to Seattle, the Westin Building exchange, and future Washington landing points,” the company stated online.
Construction for Spencer’s next vision is expected to be complected by the end of 2023.