Vincent Fodera says he isn’t selling. Not unless the buyer promises to put up a nice spot for Jimi.
Jimi had Hendrix for his last name, and some people say he used to practise guitar at a Downtown Vancouver place bought by Fodera in 2001.
In 2009, Fodera opened a modest shrine for the dead rock legend at 207 Union Street on the site of what was once either Vie’s Chicken and Steak House or a next-door building virtually attached to it. Hendrix’s grandmother, Nora, supposedly worked there as a cook.
Now developers are eyeing Fodera’s property for condos. But he said he’s not biting.
“I would sell if they would build something for Jimi, and apparently they don’t want to,” Fodera told the Straight in a phone interview.
The Jimi Hendrix shrine is at the back of the Creekside Student Residence at 796 Main Street. The two lots, both owned by Fodera, comprise a corner property at the southern edge of Chinatown. Across Union Street are the eastern ramps of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts where Hogan’s Alley, once a predominantly black district, used to sit.
“Those developers, they don’t appreciate that they would have to spend quite a bit of money on art,” Fodera said. “The shrine would be underneath, with a high-rise on top.”
Until someone says there’s something for Hendrix, Fodera said, he’s holding on to his property.