The Harbor Center complex at 555 West Hastings Street is already BC’s premier internet connectivity hub. But with the construction of the Spencer Building Carrier Hotel, the data center is about to get even bigger.
But don’t let the name fool you.
“People take a hotel and think, ‘Why build another hotel when there’s already a Delta across the street?’” said Chris Jones, director of data center infrastructure and operations at the facility. Mr.
“No, we are building a hotel for computers.”
Construction will take place on two floors within the former David Spencer department store, which was once Eaton’s and Simpsons Sears and is now partly occupied by Simon Fraser University.
Two floors of the 1926 Art Deco building will be rebuilt as the Carrier Hotel. The hotel technically means “a data center with many connections in a large city or metropolitan area.”
“In the tech sector, Career Hotels goes back to the ’90s,” explains Jones.
“That means the Westin Building in Seattle, One Wiltshire in Los Angeles, 60 Hudson in New York, 151 Front Street in Toronto, and the Harbor Center in Vancouver.”
With 43,000 square feet of space, Carrier Hotel will provide 10 megawatts of ‘critical power’ and 25 kilovolts of ‘primary electrical service’ to Vancouver’s burgeoning technology sector.
“We plan to develop all the supporting infrastructure, both mechanically and electrically, for future customers,” says Jones.
“We sell to people who install their own servers and[to meet]all their own requirements. can you put it in your place?”
They put up servers to manage their stuff. ”
To put this into perspective, “the entire Harbor Center complex with everything including the data center operator will operate at about half of the 10 megawatts available at Carrier Hotels.”
And Harbor Center is a huge tech hub.
“Harbor Center is now a major connectivity hub for Western Canada,” said Jones. “Specifically, mainly Vancouver, but with over 20,000 fiber connections, we need someone to connect us, and we come to Harbor Center.”
The Harbor Center complex is owned by Polaris, a Toronto company with extensive property holdings in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. The Spencer Building Carrier Hotel will be operated as a separate business.
The new Carrier Hotel is also intended to be a ‘landing point’ for Canada’s Cascadia Fiber Trunk. Cascadia Fiber Trunks is a “private company operating high-density fiber from Vancouver to Seattle.”
“This is a very important part because it results in a significant amount of new fibers that will persist for the foreseeable future,” Jones said. I’m starting to have age issues.”
The Spencer Building opened at 515 West Hastings Street just before Christmas 1926. The “commercialized Gothic” structure was designed by Marin Building architects McCarter and Nairn.
David Spencer Ltd. was BC’s first department store chain. Founded in Victoria in 1873, it once had nine of his stores across the state.
The Hastings store was sold to Eatons in 1948. Eatons moved to the Pacific Center in the 1970s and the location was redeveloped into the Harbor Center with its 28-story tower. Simpsons Sears bought the department store, and in 1988 Simon Fraser made Harbor Center its downtown campus. Career Hotel does not affect his SFU.
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Vancouver’s traditional department store has evolved into a ‘computer hotel’
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