In 1966, The Monkees were topping the charts, Vietnam War Protests were in full swing and miniskirts hit Paris runways. In Vancouver, a forward-thinking property developer, Mel Zajac, was constructing the iconic, modernist towers at the corner of Robson and Alberni streets that would become the Pacific Palisades Hotel.
Originally a four-building complex that included an office tower, the project was ultimately scaled down to the two towers that remain today. It’s hard to imagine, but 50 years ago Alberni Tower, at 22 stories, was the tallest building in the city.
In its heyday as a hotel, the Palisades was a home away from home for Hollywood types visiting our city. The likes of Katherine Hepburn, Sharon Stone, Roy Orbinson and Martin Sheen all stayed there. Johnny Depp famously got into a fight right in front of the hotel—it was quickly broken up after Bob Hope reported the altercation to Zajac, who lived in the penthouse.
The hotel was a hotspot for locals, too. For more than 20 years, the Palisades bar was the place to be seen in Vancouver—on Thursday and Friday nights there were lineups around the block full of Vancouverites hoping to rub shoulders with visiting celebrities.
When Austeville Properties purchased and repurposed the building into 234 studio and one-bedroom rental apartments in 2012, the company kept the integrity of not just the B.G. Marr & Associates architecture, but of the hip vibe that has always been associated with the property.
The Palisade’s historic West Coast Modern theme still runs throughout the common areas and into the rental suites themselves. There’s no longer a bar filled with movie stars, but The Commons, the two towers’ amenities complex, is a great hang out location for tenants, with free WIFI, meeting rooms, and a fitness and yoga area.
Modern touches to the 50-year-old property include energy-saving lighting, low-flow toilets, soaker tubs and natural wood and stone finishes. The buildings also feature a Car2Go station, state-of-the-art security, furnished suites and a guest room available for visitors.
Austeville has professional resident managers at the Palisades who quickly and efficiently take care of tenant needs.
For more information about renting a suite in one of Vancouver’s most architecturally significant and centrally located developments, visit https://www.austeville.com/residential/pacific-palisades.