NO MEGATOWERS AT SAFEWAY
Affordable Housing YES! Megatowers No!
With the tallest tower almost 40 storeys high, these monolithic skyscrapers will destroy mountain views and cast shadows on the neighbourhood. There is very little affordable housing – only 5% of 688 units are set aside as non-market housing.
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.
The Grandview-Woodland Citizens’ Assembly, which the City of Vancouver convened, recommended buildings of no more than 12 storeys at the Safeway site. This proposal is an insult to that painstaking work.
A massive development is now being proposed at the Safeway site at 1780 East Broadway, with the tallest tower at 346 feet (105.6 meters) high. The developer says the towers will be 30, 29 and 25 storeys on TOP of the retail “plinth””. When the retail “plinth” is taken into account, the building heights are equivalent to 39, 34 and 30 residential storeys above ground.
This community needs affordable and under-market housing.
Only 37 units (5%) of the 688 suites are for social housing. The rest are condos and market priced rental suites, gentrifying this low and mixed income neighbourhood.
The City’s Grandview-Woodland Community Plan calls for a generous, sunny and centrally-located public plaza.
There is no generous, centrally located sunny public plaza as the City promised, only a wide passage beside the noisy skytrain. These skyscrapers will darken the neighbourhood with long shadows and permanently block mountain views.
A switch to midrise buildings would allow developers to hire local trades, to use renewable resources less detrimental than concrete. This would sustain the eclectic Commercial Drive area, including its independent businesses.
This mega-complex will shoot up nearby property values and taxes on local independent small businesses. It will lead to the loss of existing affordable rentals in the vicinity. It will have a devastating effect on the diversity and eclectic nature of Commercial Drive.
East Broadway is a designated Disaster Response route
A Dream for Developers, But Not for Ordinary People
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.
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 Precendent for Future Developments in the Area
The diagram above illustrates the dramatic height proposed for this development.
Elevation: Ground to Top
105.6 meters = 346 feet = 38.8 residential storeys
91.75 meters = 304 feet = 33.73 residential storeys
80.85 meters = 265 feet = 29.76 residential storeys.
A standard residential storey is 2.72 meters.
The elevations are seen on pp 173-176 of the development proposal submission
There are Better Designs
Above is the design concept that was shown to City Council when it passed the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan. We support densification at the Safeway site as it is near a transit hub. However, the proposed towers are out of scale, and will spoil the Commercial Drive character and feel. They will be the highest towers in East Vancouver.
Who We Are
No Megatowers at Safeway is a citizens’ group opposed to the size and design of the hulking towers. We desperately want affordable housing. This development will not provide it. In fact, it will result in a net loss of affordable housing in the neighbourhood. There is very little non-market housing or benefit in this development proposal.
Contact us at email@example.com
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.
I am against this current proposal for the following reasons.
1. There is minimal under-market housing – only 37 units, which amounts to only 5%.
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 they soar to 39, 34, and 29 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. This proposal is an insult to that painstaking work.
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.
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.
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, CLRkirbyfirstname.lastname@example.org, CLRswanson@vancouver.ca, CLRwiebe@vancouver.ca