More than 30 years ago, Granville Island was transformed from a 38-acre wasteland into an artsy community.
It’s about to undergo another major change with the departure of its largest tenant.
Emily Carr University of Arts and Design, a fixture of Granville Island for decades, will leave its urban Island landscape by 2016.
The question of what will replace the empty space is the focus of a new report by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The report by the Island’s overseer looks into the possibilities for the property located in a prime spot that attracts more than 10 million visitors a year.
Capilano University, Langara College and the Vancouver Public Library have all expressed interest.
The report recommends keeping the existing classrooms intact in the South Building used by Emily Carr. As for its North Building, the report suggests a brew pub, urban winery, or a 1000-seat music venue.
The consultants know it won’t be hard to find a tenant, but realize it may take time to find the best one for the area.
Some of the locals who live and work nearby walk past Emily Carr, some stop and stare and say they can’t picture the Granville Island backdrop without it.
Linda Balsor, who works at Petit Ami Coffee shop, says she’s worried about losing business from the nearly 5,000 students attending the university.
“We’ll be affected. We get a lot of professors and the staff, the Emily Carr staff also buy our beans and coffee.”
There is no deadline yet for a decision on what will happen to the two buildings, and no plan for who will fund it.
The public can comment on the Granville Island website for the next six weeks.
© Shaw Media, 2014