Condo proposal in East Vancouver raises concerns among locals
Published Monday, February 29, 2016 6:08PM PST
Last Updated Monday, February 29, 2016 7:02PM PST
The Kettle Society has a unique condo proposal that could make city life affordable for those who need it most, but what seems like a solid solution for people struggling to barely get by has locals concerned about the character of the neighbourhood.
"As soon as you see them developing in the area you can pretty be sure that of course a homeowner can get much more money for their property,” said Courtney Macpherson, who rents a home across the street from the proposed Commercial Drive development,
Boffo Properties has partnered with The Kettle Society, a charity supporting people with mental health and addiction issues, on the proposal.
It calls for a 12-story mixed-use development, including 200 new units of market housing, and retail frontage on Commercial and Venables Street.
"One, two and three bedrooms. About 25 per cent-plus of those are targeted to be two- and three-bedroom family friendly type homes,” said developer Daniel Boffo. “It also allows people in the neighbourhood to be able to age in place. New people to be able to be able to afford to come into the community,"
The Kettle Society says the scale of the project is necessary to allow it to expand its programming and include 30 units of social housing.
"It's really important that people have a place to come to,” said Nancy Kleough, executive director of the Kettle Society. “People are really isolated and having the door open is often an entryway. We help people and support them until they're well enough to go into housing."
Macpherson appreciates the work The Kettle Society does but she wonders if other options could be explored for the site that don’t cast such a long shadow over the surrounding community.
"I just hope that it doesn't change the neighbourhood too much because it's already unaffordable,” she said.
Construction is at least two years away and the developer still has to submit a rezoning application to the city.
If the number of “No Tower” lawn signs dotting the neighbourhood are any indication, there will be plenty of opposition standing in the way.