Charities forced out of 877 East Hastings building after Low Tide Properties (Chip Wilson’s firm) purchased property

East Hastings Low Tide

MetroNews reported that a number of non-profit groups have been forced out of a building that was purchased by Low Tide Properties, a firm that counts Lululemon billionaire Chip Wilson as one of its directors. The 3-storey building at 877 East Hastings was purchased in 2013 by Low Tide. A series of rental hikes have essentially forced the non-profits out. The Network of Inner City Community Services Society was one of the groups that were priced out of the building.

Has this property been purchased with an eye on redevelopment? The nearby 955 East Hastings project by Wall Financial is currently under construction (a 12-storey development). Low Tide Properties donated $37,500 to Vision Vancouver’s coffers during the 2014 election run:

low tide donation

Further details can be found in the following MetroNews article:
Charities move after billionaire Lululemon founder buys building on East Hastings (April 22, 2016, Emily Jackson).

Frances Bula has written an interesting article in Vancouver Magazine: “Chip Wilson: Life After Lululemon.” She says “the city’s most visible, brand-savvy billionaire, pauses after Lululemon to consider his next empire.” (April 20, 2015). In it she mentions that Mr. Wilson has “decided to put a quarter of his net worth (estimated by Forbes magazine at $2.3 billion) into Vancouver real estate.” That would work out to about $600 million, which would turn into a fair amount of real estate.

Our current City Council majority (which is funded primarily by developers and has never yet seen a rezoning/development application it didn’t like) is constantly signalling that it is prepared to upzone virtually everywhere. Has this behaviour fueled the flames of speculation?

4 thoughts on “Charities forced out of 877 East Hastings building after Low Tide Properties (Chip Wilson’s firm) purchased property

  1. You forgot to check the personal donations, where Mr Wilson made an additional donation for a grand total of $75,000 in political investments.

    On the subject of political party patrons making real estate plays in the East End, someone really should compile the myriad of donations made by notorious serial DTES renovictor Steven Lippman under his own name and assorted companies like Living Balance and No 234 Cathedral Investments.

    It’s all in here: http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/lepublished/100128335.pdf

  2. > Has this property been purchased with an eye on redevelopment?

    Probably. The community plan that’s been in place for the area for the last couple years would allow for substantial redevelopment.

    > Low Tide Properties donated $37,500 to Vision Vancouver’s coffers during the 2014 election run.

    If you want to say there’s some impropriety going on between Low Tide and the City, just come out and say it. Don’t hide behind statements like this.

  3. I hate it when I read shit like this.

    > MetroNews reported that a number of non-profit groups have been forced out of a building that was purchased by Low Tide Properties

    *Forced* out? Or have their leases simply ended and they did not elect to enter into new lease agreements?

    > A series of rental hikes have essentially forced the non-profits out.

    “Essentially” forced? Does it matter whether the tenants were non-profits or for profit organizations? Why are you so desperately trying to illustrate a specific narrative that is so obviously biased and passive aggressive? If you have an issue with Chip Wilson, then say it. Otherwise, this article could’ve been written in one sentence: “Non-news: some tenants have vacated a property”.

    No one cares, move on.

    • Thanks for your comment, though the profanity is not required. By “forced” we don’t mean physically forced, of course. But the wording used in the source article, Metro News, does indeed seem to fit the meaning of being forced out, and some people probably do indeed care when non-profit organizations serving the DTES (or anywhere) face hardship due to real estate speculation and promise of greater profits from the sites where they are located: “Low Tide purchased the three-storey building (addresses range from 869 to 881 East Hastings) in 2013, sprucing it up with a white coat of paint on the brick walls, new concrete sidewalks and a decorative metal feature wrapping the staircases. With the renovations came rent or maintenance fee increases, according to former and current tenants who serve people in the Downtown Eastside. “Every time they painted, our fees went up. That was pushing our rent beyond what we could bear,” said Kellie Carroll, executive director of the Network of Inner City Community Services Society. NICCSS relocated to a smaller space on the edge of Strathcona when its lease was up last July because it couldn’t handle the estimated $1,000 per month cost increase. “We decided it wasn’t a location for us anymore. They made it clear they weren’t really interested in having non-profits in the building…”

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