Preservation advocates in Vancouver’s Chinatown are asking City Hall to turn down a new housing proposal.
A developer want to re-zone a piece of property at 105 Keefer Street to build a 13-storey tower.
But former B.C. premier Mike Harcourt, who speaks for the Building Community Society, says the project is too big for Chinatown.
“We’ve got these two unique areas, Gastown and Chinatown, and you have to respect the heritage, and do buildings that respect that heritage, and are in scale, don’t destroy the whole feel.”
“It’s dwarfing the tremendously important Chinatown heritage.”
Harcourt says the group isn’t against development, but he doesn’t want to see the neighbourhood turn into another Yaletown.
“Some of the buildings that are going up or being proposed are just too big and out of scale to this tremendously important heritage area of Vancouver.”
Houtan Rafii is the VP of Residential Development at Beedie Living.
He says the criticism is unwarranted, and in exchange for approval, the company is offering the city 25 non-market seniors housing units at a value of $7 million.
Speaking to CKNW’s Simi Sara, Rafii says his project is not like others, in that it is not as tall, so it will fit in better.
“Our tower, or mid-rise in fact, is 30 feet shorter than them, and so we are being unfortunately being painted a little bit by the same brush that’s judging the projects that are either completed or under construction.”
Rafii adds the site of this development was not an existing building, so no one is being displaced.