Following up on the work, persistence and digging of concerned citizens like Glen Chernen and the Community Association of New Yaletown, Sam Cooper has written a most interesting PostMedia piece on the big downtown Lotuslandian land swap that re-built some social housing (without increasing the stock) while simultaneously 'unlocking' the re-development potential of one of the chunks of (no longer) city land:
...Now, four years after the city gave 508 Helmcken to the developer at a $15-million value, it has been assessed as high as $130 million by B.C. Assessment, and documents show that it could be worth even more at market rates...
That lock sure did hold back a whole lotta moola.
Interestingly, the great unlocking also involved a loan from BC Housing (i.e. your money and mine) that apparently helped facilitate that decidedly un-social (three million dollar apartments for all!), unlocking:
...NDP housing critic David Eby has asked why B.C. Housing, which is mandated to provide social housing, provided a previously undisclosed $39-million loan to (the developer) Brenhill. The loan in 2016 required reporting of pre-sales progress in the luxury tower...
With that pre-amble out of the way, let's get on with the game!
...Bob Rennie was involved in bringing forward the loan proposal to B.C. Housing’s board, while Rennie was a member of that board, in November 2013...
...Rennie recused himself from the discussion and approval of the funding for Brenhill from B.C. Housing in the deal, documents show. But B.C. Housing officials refused to disclose to Postmedia why Rennie recused himself...
Now, while you keep your eyes on those two dots just revealed, how about we hunt down that all important Dot #3, which has actually been out in the open for ages, all the while being well-polished by breathless promotional pre-sales puff pieces that include money shots like the following from Claudia Kwan, also 'published' in PostMedia's prints:
...“With so many projects, people ask how big the units are, how much does it cost, and what’s the view,” says Tracie McTavish, executive director of project marketer Rennie Marketing Systems...