Tower proposed at Commercial and Broadway in 1989 was never built

The current draft of the City’s plan for the Grandview-Woodland Community includes designating the Safeway property on the south side of East Broadway as a site for 36-storey towers. It might come to a surprise to some, but the debate over building towers at Commercial and Broadway was previously fought once in 1989. We’ve included a few renderings of a development proposal for the northeast corner of the intersection:

Tower proposed in 1989 at Broadway & Commercial

At the time, an 18-storey condominium highrise and an 8-storey office/retail building was proposed as part of a large complex on the northeast corner of Commercial and Broadway. There was tremendous pushback from the community against the tower proposal and eventually it was never built.

As part of the new Grandview-Woodland Community Plan, the planning department has not only proposed a site for 36-storey towers, staff have also designated sites for towers of 22-26 storeys in the vicinity of Commercial and Broadway.

Tower proposed in 1989 at Broadway & Commercial

Back in 1989 residents asked the following:

Does this fit into our neighbourhood?
People in our community want to know:

  • Will rent, taxes and house prices go up in our neighbourhood?
  • Will higher rents push local businesses out of the community?
  • Can our jammed streets handle more traffic?
  • Will this development change our neighbourhood forever?
  • What do you want?

Should the planning department examine why the tower proposal in 1989 was so unpopular with the residents? There is the expression: those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Perhaps it is time to learn from history and to learn from the residents. There’s an opportunity to put the Community back into the Community Plan.

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