As I was out shopping this morning, I was reminded — by their own sign — that nothing is happening with the Kettle/Boffo Tower project that aims to ruin the stretch of Commercial Drive between Venables and Adanac.
It is now almost five years since Nancy Keogh of the Kettle begged and pleaded with City Council to exclude the Boffo Tower from the delays in the Grandview Woodland Community Plan, and it is more than 18 months since Councillor Andrea Reimer forced through an amendment — against the wishes of the Planning Department and thousands upon thousands of residents who had petitioned against a tower — to give Boffo the full twelve stories that they were demanding. And nothing has happened.
If you visit their website, nothing has changed for well over a year. Absolute silence. No light shining on anything. This is not altogether surprising as they have been essentially silent (to the community) throughout the entire six year process. I am sure they have had a lot to say to Planning and politicians, but locals apparently don’t need to be informed.
They have also been talking among themselves. At least some of the delay is due to serious differences of opinion between the partners — or so we are told by City Planning.
As someone strenuously opposed to the building of a tower on that site (when excellent low-rise alternatives exist that can satisfy the Kettle’s needs), the longer the delay the better. However, there is one worrying issue. We are told by Planning that the value assigned to the City land for Boffo’s Tower is fixed at the value when they first discussed the idea with the City, perhaps in 2012 or 2013. As we are all aware, land values have increased astronomically over the last five years. That means Boffo is being allowed to buy tax-payer’s property at far below current market value.
Every taxpayer in the City is therefore subsidising the private profit to be made by this developer. That’s a serious problem that needs to be fixed whenever they bother to apply for a development permit.