288 East Hastings Open House Nov 12th (12-storey highrise)

288 East HastingsThe City of Vancouver is organizing an Open House to show details about a development application for a 12-storey mixed-use building at 288 East Hastings.

This event will be held on Thursday, November 12th, 2015 from 5 to 8pm at 50 East Pender Street (Chinese Cultural Centre).

A number of changes made in conjunction with the recently approved Downtown Eastside Plan provide the policy framework that the City is using to evaluate this project. The proposed development has a height of 116′ (35.5m), a total floor space ratio of 7.0 and 31 parking stalls. Commercial retail uses are planned for the ground floor.

A total of 104 non-market dwelling units and 68 market rental units are proposed. However, the unit counts don’t quite provide the full picture. The total area of the market housing is 47,359 square feet, while the area for the non-market housing is 40,170 square feet (or 4400 m2 vs. 3,732 m2). The non-market housing would be confined to levels 5 and lower, while market housing units are from level 6 and up; the floors with market rental units have higher ceilings. None of the floors would contain both market and non-market units, effectively separating future residents (vs. integrating them). According to an article in the Straight, the average size of a non-market unit is a mere 255 square feet (23.7 m2).

The architect behind this proposal is Endall Elliot Associates while the developer is Wall Financial. The same developer was behind the controversial rezoning at 955 East Hastings. Wall Financial donated $80,901.40 to Vision Vancouver’s 2011 Election Campaign and gave another $15,000 in 2014.

Further details about this proposal are available under the following articles and webpages:

Open house planned for 12-storey mixed-use project in Downtown Eastside (Charlie Smith, Georgia Straight, Nov 9, 2015)
http://former.vancouver.ca/devapps/288ehastings/index.htm   (intermittent problems with this link)
https://www.facebook.com/events/579611508857159/   (Stop Gentrification of 288 E Hastings / CCAP)
Plan for 12-storey residential tower in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside raises gentrification fears.
172-unit building planned for Hastings and Gore (Nick Eagland, The Province, 7-Nov-2015)
http://www.theprovince.com/business/plan+storey+residential+tower+vancouver+downtown+eastside/11501930/story.html
CBC Radio Morning Edition gave a detailed interview with Chinatown historian Jim Wong-Chu on November 12, who explained the significant loss of history and culture from developments like this, and stated the City of Vancouver policies are forcing long-time shops and business out. For example, a blanket policy that required buildings to have fire sprinklers ended up clearing many businesses out within a year, due to the increased costs.
The demise of Chinatown’s BBQ meat shops: They survived an attack by Vancouver city hall in the ’70s but can’t beat development (Joanne Lee-Young, Vancouver Sun, 2-Oct-2015),
http://www.vancouversun.com/life/demise+chinatown+meat+shops/11406805/story.html

The City of Vancouver has already scheduled a Development Permit Board hearing for Monday, January 25, 2016 at 3pm to review this proposal. The open question is whether any of the public feedback will be incorporated and reflected into the proposal.

The City’s webpage bills the November 12th event as a Community Open House and not as a presentation or information session. Is the term “Community Open House” a good candidate for our Doublespeak Guide?

Community Open House

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