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:
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?