Could the VSB sell the Kingsgate Mall?

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VSB considers selling Kingsgate Mall
Mon, Apr 18: The Vancouver School Board could be putting Kingsgate Mall up for sale. It would seem selling the land could help the district's budget blues, but as Ted Chernecki reports, that's not the case – Apr 18, 2016

Some people love the Kingsgate Mall. Some people love to mock it.

The shabby chic shopping centre in East Vancouver has been the subject of a parody Twitter account and a tribute song posted on YouTube.

Many don’t know the Vancouver School Board owns the land the mall sits on. An elementary school operated on the site until the 1970s and the VSB now leases it.

VSB Chair Mike Lombardi said the board makes $750,000 a year from the lease.

“One clear option is just renegotiate the lease…we’ve been told we may get up to $2 million in an annual lease, which would be great,” he said.

The VSB could also sell the property, which soared in value last year from an estimated $56 million to $79 million.

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If they sell, however, the money has to stay in the board’s capital budget.

Lombardi said the money could help “get all of our schools seismically upgraded by 2030 and build our six new schools.”

The money wouldn’t deal with the $24-million shortfall in the board’s operating budget.

The board has three other non-school properties: a grounds maintenance workshop on Wales Street; a works yard on Clark Drive and the Education Centre on Broadway.

The school board is reviewing all of its properties as part of its long-range facilities plan. It will be holding a public consultation about the future of the shopping centre at the Kingsgate Mall itself on May 1 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

– With files from Ted Chernecki

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