August 10, 2017 12:52 am

New 105 Keefer proposal pitches a shorter building with no social housing

The new proposal is three storeys shorter, and does not contain the 25 units of social housing found in the previous proposal.

City of Vancouver

The developer behind a controversial condo proposal on Keefer Street in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown has submitted a new development application for the site.

The proposal comes nearly two months after Vancouver City Council voted down a previous design for the lot at 105 Keefer.

READ MORE: City of Vancouver admits towers get taller to secure affordable housing

The latest version from Beedie Living is three storeys shorter and does not contain the 25 social housing units that formed part of the proposal rejected in June.

The new proposal does include a cultural space for seniors, along with 111 condo units and nine retail spaces.

WATCH: Community concern over proposed 105 Keefer condo development

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Gil Kelley, the City of Vancouver’s chief planner, said the developer doesn’t plan on rezoning the land.

“They’re just coming in saying ‘[under current zoning] I can build “x” storeys and that’s what I’m going to do,'” Kelley said.

“We do need to say yes or no, and usually those criteria [are] around things like building design and things that are anticipated as discretionary judgements under the zoning code.”

READ MORE: Vancouver councillor wants city to buy 105 Keefer development site

There’s not much that local activists can do “except to express what we’d like to see and so on and so forth,” said Fred Mah, chair of the Chinese Heritage Committee.

“That piece of land they have right now is very important to Chinatown, whatever is going to be there has to make a statement saying that, ‘hey, you’re coming into Chinatown,'” he added.

Beedie purchased the land for $16.2 million back in 2013, and revised its original 2014 proposal four times on the road to the June vote.

It reduced the number of storeys, cut the number of condo units from 137 to 127 and adding homes for seniors.

That version was defeated after a heated series of public hearings and a vote that saw two NPA councillors and one Vision Vancouver councillor back the project.

Opponents had argued the tower was too large and out of character for the neighbourhood, didn’t contain enough social housing and that it would hasten gentrification in the area.

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