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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Social housing scrapped from latest 105 Keefer Street plan

A contentious, multi-year struggle by Beedie Living to develop an empty lot at 105 Keefer Street in Chinatown continues, with a new development application.

After the developer’s proposal for a 12-storey market condominium and social housing building was rejected by Vancouver city council last month, a revised proposal for a nine-storey building has been submitted.

The rejected 12-storey proposal contained 25 social housing units for seniors, but those units have been eliminated from the new nine-storey plan.

111 market condominiums, a senior’s cultural space and nine ground-floor retail units are planned for the site, over three levels of underground parking.

The project goes to the Urban Design Panel August 9, and an open house is scheduled from 5:00 – 8:00pm on Tuesday, September 5.

Community activists rallied against the proposal, but it’s hard to see it as a victory, as the latest proposal will likely be built, without the social housing units.

Spokesperson Fred Mah said in a statement that this latest version of the proposal was not developed in collaboration with any of the stakeholders who opposed the previous proposal.

“As far as we are aware, none of these individuals or organizations have been contacted by Beedie Living or its representatives since Council’s decision not to approve the rezoning application on June 13, 2017.”

Beedie Living had issued a statement following the submission of the latest version of the proposal for 105 Keefer, saying they were committed to working with the community.

“We see the Keefer project as an important addition to Chinatown,” said Houtan Rafii, vice-president, residential development at Beedie Living. “We have been listening to the concerns people have expressed and sincerely appreciate every stakeholder who has collaborated with us towards the evolution of the proposal. We truly hope that this new proposal will reflect, as much as possible, the diverse perspectives we have heard.”

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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