No Safeway Megatowers in East Vancouver

We are a group of Grandview-Woodland and Cedar Cottage neighbours who all agree that the current redevelopment of the Safeway site on East Broadway and Commercial Drive needs to fit the neighbourhood character and meet the needs of current residents – renters and owners alike.

We object to the height and scale of the three proposed towers, which will soar to the equivalent of 39, 34 and 30 residential storeys from the ground to the very top.

Another major concern is the lack of significant affordable housing. 688 residential units are proposed -- only 37 (or 5%) are identified as social housing and/or for those with modest incomes. The remainder will be sold or rented at market value.

So what is current market rate for rentals in the area?

New developments have been renting for:
-       Studio – $1,350-$1,700
-       1 bedroom - $1,750-$2,895
-       2 bedroom - $2,200-$2,675

To be able to afford a studio with 33% of net salary for housing -- one would need to clear $5,000/month or $60,000/year after taxes.

What is needed is truly affordable housing for all, not luxury condos or more fancy penthouses which will benefit speculators and increase the abundant empty home supply in Vancouver.

This development is being put forward by Crombie REIT – a real estate investment trust focused on steady income growth through the ownership, operation and development of grocery-anchored shopping centres and mixed-use developments. It is in the business of earning profits for its Toronto Stock Exchange investors.

We live here and will be affected by this development. These towers will darken the neighbourhood, block mountain views and gentrify a low-income and mixed-use neighbourhood. 

While we support increased density near this transit hub and in all areas of Vancouver, these skyscrapers (once built) will become the tallest towers in our neighbourhood and allow developers a reason to continue building more high rises nearby. There are many ways to increase density without skyscrapers and we don't need more homes which average residents cannot afford.

THE PROPOSED TOWERS GO AGAINST YEARS OF COMMUNITY PLANNING.

The Grandview-Woodland Citizens' Assembly recommended 12 storeys as the highest height and a spacious, centrally-located sunny public plaza.

OUR INPUT IS NOT BEING RESPECTED OR HEARD.

We want Vancouver City Council to vote NO on this development proposal.

All donations will be used to pay for the No Megatowers at Safeway campaign. There are no paid staff.  Our current focus is on increasing awareness and signage. We are grateful for your financial support and any amount you can offer.

At the end of the campaign, remaining funds will be donated to Kettle Friendship Society (a registered charity).

For further information:
Check out our website at NoSafewayMegatowers.ca
Join our Facebook group by searching “No Megatowers at Safeway”
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Organizer

Cylia Wong 
Organizer
Vancouver, BC
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