01/11/2013 03:55 EST | Updated 03/13/2013 05:12 EDT

Vancouver mayor to ask city to help protect Waldorf

Mayor Gregor Robertson has asked city council to address how the Waldorf Hotel can be protected, after it was announced this week that the popular arts and culture venue in East Vancouver was sold to a real estate development company and would be shutting its doors.

Robertson will be introducing a motion at next Tuesday’s council meeting asking city staff to meet with Waldorf Productions, which operates the tiki bar and nightclubs inside the East Hastings Street boutique hotel.

“The Waldorf is both a significant cultural amenity and a major neighbourhood asset, one that resonates with people of all ages throughout Vancouver,” Robertson said in a statement.

“To lose such a historic building would be a big blow, which is why we need to do what we can to protect it — we need to be building up Vancouver’s arts and culture. I want to ensure the Waldorf Hotel is protected and that we don’t lose a valuable live performance venue.”

Robertson has asked the city manager to prepare a report that will include:

- steps to prevent any demolition permit from being issued, in the event the owners were to seek one. He has also asked for a statement to be drafted up stating the

- a statement of significance for the Waldorf Hotel that would outline the building’s historic and cultural assets.

The mayor’s motion will also ask city staff to consult with the current and new landowners to see if any accommodations can be made to keep Waldorf Productions on site.

"It’s disappointing that Waldorf Productions is intending to stop operations — we need more cultural venues in Vancouver,” Robertson added. “I’m hopeful we can find a new solution.”

In recent years the hotel and its original Tiki lounge has become a trendy hang out in the city's arts and culture scene.

But on Wednesday, the operating partners suddenly announced they were vacating the premises on Jan. 20 because the building had been sold to the Delta developer Solterra and they could not secure a new long-term lease.

The news prompted a flurry of rumours on social media about the fate of the building and on Thursday afternoon, the CEO of real estate firm Solterra released a statement saying the firm had no intention of demolishing the Waldorf.