As part of City Planning’s “lipstick on a pig” policy to allow huge towers at Commercial & Broadway, the approved Grandview-Woodland Community Plan required a large and attractive public plaza as part of a redeveloped Safeway site. This was supposed to assuage the aesthetic and social dissonance the massive towers would bring to the area.
Safeway doesn’t like that idea, never has. It doesn’t fit in with what one critic calls their “archaic retail requirement” for a “large suburban store footprint”. In other words, an attractive public plaza would somehow get in the way of their profit-making potential. They are suggesting that any public plaza should be someplace else. It is not clear to me at this point where the alternative plaza is supposed to be, but I suspect it is north of Broadway, toward the Cut, rather than south.
City Planning has decided to have a meeting about this new proposal on Thursday 8th June at 7:00pm at the Croatian Cultural Centre. The meeting is free, but you need to register via Eventbrite.
Even though this meeting is now only nine days away there is no mention of it on the GW Plan website and no notification has been sent to those of us signed up to the GWPlan email list. I know about it merely by chance.
Grandview-Woodland is already famously deficient in public space such as parks and plazas compared to the rest of Vancouver, and the Community Plan as approved does almost nothing to improve the situation. What little we do gain — such as a public plaza at Commercial & Broadway — needs to be protected and indeed enhanced not thrown over for the benefit of a developer.
Register to come to the meeting and let’s make our voices heard!
Update: Some three hours after I posted this, I received an email notification from GWPlan about the meeting.