A Vancouver school-board trustee favours redevelopment of the school-district-owned property on which Kingsgate Mall is situated.
However, Patti Bacchus maintains that it should be a “joint approach” with a partner, with the district retaining ownership of 370 East Broadway (at Kingsway), or at least most of it.
“Perhaps we could sell off air space that could be developed,” Bacchus told the Straight by phone.
She said she thinks the property doesn’t bring in the kind of revenue it could for such a valuable asset.
The district earns $750,000 in annual rent from the Beedie Development Group (BDG), which owns and manages the mall. Based on B.C. Assessment’s valuation as of July 1, 2015, the land, which contains an entire city block, is worth at least $79 million.
According to Bacchus, some people feel frustrated that the board holds valuable properties yet still has to cut school services year after year due to funding problems.
“I believe we can make that property work for us and maintain the public ownership and also some improved revenue,” the three-term trustee said, “but it may mean some development.”
In 2012, BDG president Ryan Beedie said that redeveloping the site would be good for both his company and the district.
Last year, the school board unanimously passed a motion brought by Bacchus to consult the public about the future of 370 East Broadway.
On Sunday (May 1), community members will get a chance to have their say at an event being organized by the district inside the mall from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.