NO MEGATOWERS AT SAFEWAY
Affordable Housing YES! Megatowers No!
With the tallest tower at its very top now more than 41 residential storeys high, this luxury development proposed by a Real Estate Investment Trust trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange will do nothing to bring the affordable housing Vancouver desperately needs.
Ways to Take Action
Email the Mayor and City Council
Send this email to Mayor Stewart Kennedy and Council members . You can modify it to reflect your unique take. If your browser won’t open it, a sample letter is at the bottom of this website for you to cut and paste.
The proposed towers go against years of community planning.
A Real Estate Investors’ Dream; a Nightmare for East Vancouver
The developer’s image conveniently leaves off the mountains and cuts off the skytrain guideway. To get this perspective you’d have to be standing on East 13th – not East 10th. These will be the tallest buildings in the area, setting a precedent for future developments in the Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhood. There is no low income or social housing proposed.
The Safeway site is owned by a Real Estate Investment Trust with properties worth $4.8 billion
This site is owned by the Crombie REIT – a real estate investment trust. It is 41.5% owned by Empire Ltd. – the parent company to Sobeys, which in turn owns Safeway and other grocery chains. The rest of the shares are held by investors – it is on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In Crombie REIT’s last published annual report it says it owns 293 properties across Canada. It says its properties are worth about $4.8 billion.
Soaring Towers Will Set a Precedent for Future Developments in the Area
Elevation: Ground to very tip top (to top of enclosures sitting on the roofs)
113.3 meters = 371.7 feet = 41.6 residential storeys
101.6 meters = 333.3 feet = 37 residential storeys
90.1 meters = 295 feet = 33.1 residential storeys.
A standard residential storey is 2.72 meters.
There are Better Designs
Above is the design concept that was shown to City Council when it passed the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan. We definitely support affordable densification, especially as the Safeway site is near a transit hub. However, the proposed luxury skyscrapers will do nothing to bring affordable housing to the neighbourhood; in fact they will have the opposite effect. In addition, they are so out of scale they will spoil the Commercial Drive character and feel. This luxury development will be the highest in East Vancouver.
Who We Are
No Megatowers at Safeway is a citizens’ group opposed to the size, design and lack of affordability of these behemoth luxury towers. We support affordable density near a transit hub; we desperately need affordable housing. This development will not provide it. In fact, it will cause a net loss, as it will trigger more redevelopment and the tearing down of what remains of affordable rentals in the area. There is no low income, cooperative or social housing proposed; only 14% of the suites are for below-market housing. Luxury suites will be sold. We are in a climate emergency. This area needs parks, greenspace. This development will permanently concrete over a significant portion of the thick undergrowth in the Grandview Cut to construct a vehicle bridge and structural reinforcing. Trees, undergrowth and habitat will be permanently lost. The Grandview Woodland Community Plan calls for a generous sunny public plaza as a social heart gathering place for the neighbourhood. This application does not contain a plaza, only a minimal walkway along the noisy darkened skytrain line.
We need a design that is relevant to our times—socially, architecturally, ecologically. A design that employs the latest in green technology, building materials, construction, energy, and living.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: No Mega Towers At Safeway
Dear Mayor and Councillors,
I am opposed to the proposed development at the Safeway site at Broadway and Commercial.
I am in favour of affordable housing at that location, and support increased density.
I am against this current proposal for the following reasons.
1. This will be an upscale, luxury development. It contains no low income, co-operative or social housing. We desperately need affordable housing in Vancouver – this proposal will not bring it.
2. This is a development proposal from the Crombie REIT – Real Estate Investment Trust, which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Its interest is to maximize returns for its investors, not to provide affordable housing for tenants.
3. The three towers are massive and far too high – with the retail level in the recently revised proposal they soar to the equivalent of 41, 37 and 33 residential storeys above ground.
4. The proposed towers go against years of community planning for that site. The Grandview-Woodland Citizens’ Assembly recommended 12 storeys at that site. The Grandview Woodland Community Plan endorsed heights ranging between 12-24 storeys. This proposal is an insult.
5. There is no centrally located, generous and sunny public plaza as promised in the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan. All there is is a noisy walkway under the shadow of the skytrain line with stairs that run up underneath a commercial building.
6. The proposed skyscrapers will darken the neighbourhood, block mountain views and gentrify this low and mixed income neighbourhood.
7. I support densification at the Safeway site, as it is near a transit hub. However, these towers are out of scale, and will spoil the Commercial Drive character and feel. They will be the highest towers in East Vancouver.
8. I believe this mega-complex will shoot up nearby property values and taxes on local businesses. I believe this development will lead to the loss of existing affordable rental in the vicinity.
9. We are in a climate emergency. We need a design that shows imagination, that is relevant to our time – socially, architecturally, ecologically – a design that employs the latest in green technology, building materials, construction, energy, and living.
I ask that should this proposal come to a public hearing, you vote no to it.
Kennedy.Stewart@vancouver.ca, CLRbligh@vancouver.ca, CLRboyle@vancouver.ca, CLRcarr@vancouver.ca, CLRdegenova@vancouver.ca, CLRdominato@vancouver.ca, CLRfry@vancouver.ca, CLRhardwick@vancouver.ca, CLRkirbyemail@example.com, CLRswanson@vancouver.ca, CLRwiebe@vancouver.ca