Luxury megatower proposal is dangerous to local affordability warns citizens’ group

‘No compliments’ for East Van Safeway development

Community opposition to a massive tower development proposal at Commercial Drive and Broadway in Vancouver is growing.

A grassroots group has formed under the banner “No Megatowers at Safeway” to fight the development bordering the Broadway and Commercial Skytrain station precinct.

The proposal consists of 3 towers, soaring the equivalent of 39, 34 and 30 residential storeys over a sprawling large format grocery store. The current site is owned by Crombie REIT, an investment vehicle trading on the TSX. The proposal includes 688 high end condo and rental suites. Only 5% – 37 units – are slated for non-market housing.

The Grandview Woodland Citizens Assembly called for a maximum of 12 storeys on the site. The City of Vancouver increased that to a maximum of 24 storeys in the official Grandview Woodland Community Plan.

The proposal is too dense and far too high. Its under-market housing component is negligible. “It will have a devastating effect on the neighbouring Commercial Drive and Cedar Cottage communities”, says the No Megatowers group. It will do nothing to ease the affordable housing crisis in Vancouver. Instead it would put upward pressure on local land prices, business taxes and existing affordable rental housing in the area.

While No Megatowers at Safeway supports densification around transit hubs, this proposal is far beyond community recommendations. It is an affront to the much loved character and vibrancy of the low-rise, local neighbourhood and streetscapes.

No Megatowers also notes the lack of a “generous, central public plaza” promised in the city’s plan. Instead developers propose a walkway in the shadow of the noisy Skytrain line.

Local residents have blanketed the surrounding area with 3500 leaflets and have mounted a petition, gathering almost 1500 signatures in a short time. The campaign includes letters and phone calls of concern to Vancouver mayor and council members.

Efforts will continue to raise awareness of the negative scale, scope and impact of the proposal. These skyscrapers will darken the neighbourhood, block mountain views and gentrify a much loved and modest-income community.

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The Grandview Woodland Area Council also is opposing the plan. Contact Craig Ollenberger, President at, 604-320-6560