Ming Sun Benevolent Society given a deadline to address city concerns about building


The City of Vancouver plans to "take action" to address public-safety risks with the Ming Sun Benevolent Society building on Tuesday (December 10) if the society doesn't do this by Monday (December 9).

On December 6, Carli Edwards, the city's deputy chief building official and assistant director of inspection services, wrote an email to society spokesperson David Wong to say it is "imperative that you address the public safety risks posed by the building and especially the bricks on the west façade and the chimney".

The 120-year-old Ming Sun building is in the 400 block of Powell Street and is home to the Instant Coffee Art Collective, which doesn't want to be forced out.

Wong acknowledged in a December 1 email to Brenda Prosken, general manager of community services, that there is a "structural compromise" in the building's exterior cladding.

"Our engineering report states that the overall building structure is sound and solid," Wong wrote. "The Ming Sun had removed the building's front exterior brick veneer and vinyl cladding to respect public safety."

Wong's email also noted that another landowner on the block, Tom Chow, had an engineer prepare an 18-page report about the exterior cladding.

"Chow's engineer had no access onto our site and thus could not make a complete and informed assessment," Wong emphasized.

CBC News has reported that Chow wants the demolition to proceed and hopes to redevelop properties he owns on both sides of the Ming Sun building.

Comments (5) Add New Comment
Sid Tan
Seems developers have the Vision Vancouver politicians, their bureaucrats and lawyers beating up on a non-profit society housing artists and seniors at below market rent. Richard Wong gives an explanation of what happened prior to the media briefing. He makes an impassioned plea to stay the demolition.

Rating: +5
Ex Vision Vancouver organizer
I am so angry! Words can not contain my outrage at city staff. There are reasons why many friends and I left the ranks of Vision Vancouver. The very arrogant and mean spirit Penny Ballem is behind all this. Mayor and council are led by their nose by this controlling woman.

Keep pressure on! This is the beginning of the end of Ballem and Vision Vancouver
Rating: +9
And what, exactly, does any of this have to do with Vision? I know its popular to blame them for city staff doing (or trying to do) their job, but does anyone have actual evidence of political interference or is this just (more) mudslinging?
Rating: +2
Sarah Beuhler
Wait - so, the demolition team wrecked the shared wall tearing down the building next door and Chow is on record wanting to sell off the block for condos - and nobody smells a rat here? It is because it's ten Chinese seniors who have been forcibly displaced? Shame on Vision and shame on Tom Chow. This is egregious.
Rating: +11
Sarah Beuhler
At this point, the City and Vision are used interchangeably. As well they should.
Rating: -2
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