City of Vancouver “supportive” of B.C. Place casino, housing minister says

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      The City of Vancouver has been privy to the proposed $450-million casino and hotel project west of B.C. Place.

      B.C. Liberal premier Gordon Campbell and Minister of Housing and Social Development Rich Coleman separately confirmed so in media scrums following the announcement today (March 26) of a 680,000-square-foot entertainment complex in downtown Vancouver.

      The project still has to go through development permit and zoning processes of the city, which will involve public hearings.

      “This is all part of the city’s plan,” Campbell said. “The city has been part of this all along. There’s 1.4 million square feet of opportunity here around the B.C. Place Stadium. This is a major civic and public amenity here, so obviously there will be some activities but that’s one of the things to ensure that will go through the zoning process. But this is not a surprise to anybody. This has always been part of the community plan.”

      Campbell, who has cultivated quite a cozy working relationship with Mayor Gregor Robertson, also said that the project “builds on the Olympic momentum we have”.

      “We know that people want to come here,” he said. “We want to offer them top-quality entertainment opportunities when they do arrive.”

      Coleman was asked if the office of the mayor was aware of the plan that will see the relocation and upgrading of the Edgewater Casino, currently located at the Plaza of Nations, as well as the construction of two hotels that will be connected through rooftop walkways.

      “Oh yeah,” Coleman told reporters. “The City of Vancouver has actually been in discussion....They were made aware of the plan. They’ve known for some time.”

      Coleman said that these discussions are “all relative to how we would go through a development permit”.

      “I understand they’re supportive of it,” Coleman added.

      The B.C. Pavilion Corporation, the Crown corporation that operates B.C. Place, has entered into a 70-year lease agreement with Paragon Development Ltd. for two acres of the B.C. Place west side lands.

      According to a news release from the office of the premier and PavCo, the entertainment complex is projected to generate up to $130 million in gaming revenues that will be distributed to the province in the first full year.

      PavCo chair David Podmore said at today’s press conference that construction is expected to begin in mid 2011. The project would be completed in mid 2013.

      Podmore also said that the $6-million per year in lease revenue from the development will help finance the cost of putting a new retractable roof on B.C. Place.

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      fred the head

      Mar 27, 2010 at 2:42am

      wheres the low cost housing and you should worry about our owelimpic damn debt. Is there not enough problem gambullers out there what is next those vidio machines in macs milk stores.


      Mar 27, 2010 at 8:42am

      So what if those "vidio [sic] machines" end up in "milk stores"? If you don't like them, don't use them; walk on by and go get your milk. I suppose you're also against the selling of beer in corner stores as well. Based on this inane comment above it seems you're probably against all kinds of other liberties that people should have as well.

      Sean Bickerton

      Mar 27, 2010 at 11:40am

      Now that gambling money no longer supports sports, education and the arts in BC, what is the benefit to BC residents for allowing a huge Las Vegas gambling casino the right to operate in our city, when these operations are known to have deep ties to the mob?

      Further, where are the local amenities and park space for the increased density, the community centre and daycare that will help improve the quality of a life for a neighbourhood that has long been ignored by both levels of government?

      In order to proceed with development of the casino, they will have to remediate soils. If the Province would move to remediate the soils on Concord's Lot 6C at the same time, that would allow immediate construction of the Creekside Park Extension. If they do that, and provide community benefits, and put in place rock solid measures to ensure that no one with any mob associations is prohibited from having anything to do with that casino, perhaps there may be a grand bargain here that is a win-win for everyone involved.

      No Creekside Park? No Casino!


      Apr 2, 2010 at 10:22pm

      I LOVE this plan! This city's nightlife needs a serious boost of life. This project looks amazing and will liven up an otherwise dead part of the city. I wonder where our no-fun mayor Mr. Happy Planet stands on this issue?


      Jul 14, 2010 at 7:11pm

      Listen fred the head, I work hard to earn the money it takes to live close to downtown. Low cost housing has NO place in the most expensive part of any city. Why is it you people cry for low 'cost' housing if it's in Coal Harbour/Yaletown, but if the province gave you a bloody place in 148 mile for 'free' you would find some reason not to go? I guess it's not housing your really worried or should I say jealous about!