Update: Solterra is also developing a condo complex in Chinatown, according to The Tyee.
The Solterra Facebook page is now thoroughly dominated by comments about The Waldorf closing. Here are a selection:
“If anything happens to the precious architectural treasure that is the Waldorf Tiki Room, I hope the ghost of my dear friend Jim Green haunts you until the end of your days. Don’t worry, I can repost this comment as many times as I need to if you’re taking it down. “LOVE, LAUGHTER AND HAPPINESS!! 2013 IS GOING TO BE A GREAT YEAR…” you forgot to add “UNLESS YOU CARE ABOUT ANYTHING BUT MONEY!”
Apart from any kind of comment I would have to make about the Waldorf and how important it is to this city – gotta tell y”ou, I’m FULL of schadenfreude. This is the worst public relations gaffe any developer in this city has EVER made. Let me tell you – as someone looking to get into the market within 5 years, anything you just built is now unsaleable – and I’ll ensure every other young professional I know is aware that Solterra is the one tearing down the Waldorf.”
“FOUR distinct venues under one roof. Sixty employees soon to be out of work. Possibly the oldest surviving Tiki Room in North America. Built in 1947, and lovingly restored since 2010 by the current establishment. More style and dignity than another sub-par condo development selling its suites to absentee, off-shore owners just waiting to flip them for the next flipper. … What- you weren’t expecting Vancouverites to be able to afford these suites, were you?”
The news that The Waldorf Hotel in Vancouver is being sold to a developer has triggered outrage on social media. The hash tag #RIPWaldorf at the time of this post was the number one Twitter Trend in Vancouver, according to the tracking service TrendsMap.
In fact, virtually all the popular hash tags and search terms on Twitter in Vancouver were related to the story of The Waldorf, a popular cultural and social hub, being sold.
But beyond the noise on Twitter, Mayor Gregor Robertson, Vision Vancouver and the developer Solterra are all likely preparing for some serious blowback.
News in the digital age outpaces the ability of politicians and organizations to respond to public sentiment which is expressed instantly and loudly.
Case in point: According to a Vancouver Sun blog post by Jeff Lee, Solterra was listed as an attendee for a Vision Vancouver fund raiser in November of 2011. Having said that, Solterra had just one of 88 tables at that fund raiser. The crowd their was an eclectic mix including, W2 media, Artists for Vision, and LGBT Friends of Vision Outlooks TV.
But the fact that Solterra was there is now being re-tweeted, and will just add to the tempest.
The initial response from the mayor’s office and their subsequent, and almost immediate back-pedalling, is documented below. The developer Solterra is not being sparred either as its Facebook page is being inundated with messages.
Check out the response on social media to news of The Waldorf Hotel in Vancouver being sold to condo developers.