Beedie Group files amended submission to City of Vancouver for 105 Keefer Street project

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      After one of the most contentious public hearings in recent Vancouver history, a developer has come back to the city with a new proposal for 105 Keefer Street.

      "We heard that the proposed building was too tall, so the new submission pursues a building in line with the current allowable building height of 90 feet (from 115), which does not require rezoning," Beedie Living said in a statement released today. "The building has been further reduced to 70 feet along the Columbia Street elevation to respect views from Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden."

      The statement by the Beedie Group entity pledges to work with the city and community "to provide important subsidized cultural ground-floor space and increased pedestrianization of the Chinatown Memorial Plaza".

      This includes "cultural space, retail services, and service infrastructure to encourage cultural and social activities, including small-scale retail and public festivals".

      According to the company, this space "will be accessible for a multi-generational, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual user-base with emphasis on seniors".

      The project is slated on a parking lot near the Chintown Memorial Monument. Because it's not a rezoning application, it will be dealt with at the city's development permit board.

      The company's statement makes no mention of subsidized housing units, which were included in the previous 12-storey proposal. Council voted it down last month in an 8-3 vote.

      At the time, speakers in the council chamber raised objections to the amount of social housing, the scale of the project, its gentrifying impact, and the loss of Chinatown's character.

      "During this public hearing process, I clearly heard anxiety but also excitement for new opportunities for Chinatown’s future—a neighbourhood in transition today," Mayor Gregor Robertson said on June 13. "Like all neighbourhoods, Chinatown will continue to change and evolve, and the public debate and dialogue will continue."