A new development adjacent to B.C. Place will include two luxury resort hotels, conference centre, restaurants, retail space and a new home for the existing Edgewater Casino.
According to a news release sent out Tuesday, 360 Vox Corporation, Paragon Development Ltd. and Dundee Corporation have signed agreements, pending regulatory approval as required, to design, develop and operate the $535 million urban resort. The release notes the project is consistent with the City of Vancouver’s rezoning approved in the fall of 2011.
According to the release, the approximately 675,000-square-foot development will create an estimated 2,000 new and ongoing jobs associated with the operations of the hotels, conference centre, restaurants, fitness centre, spa and other facilities and services. As well, construction and development work will create an estimated 4,500 local jobs. Once open, it’s estimated the resort will generate $180 million annually for the local economy, which will be supplemented by almost $90 million in annual visitor spending outside the resort.
The developers expect the multi-use resort to become a vibrant outdoor gathering space for the community and visitors and, through improved pedestrian walkways, will provide convenient connections between Yaletown, B.C. Place and downtown.
The resort will be built on land owned by B.C. Pavilion Corporation, which has signed a lease including a 70-year term at $3 million annually based on the current scale of the project. The resort is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
Not everyone is excited about the project. Sandy Garossino, an outspoken critic of a recent attempt to expand the Edgewater Casino, describes the surprise announcement as “failing all reasonable standards of transparency.
“The public has been shut out of every aspect of this planning and still has none of the information it needs,” Garossino wrote in an email to the Courier. “The taxpayers need all public subsidies in every form given to this project, including the 50 per cent lease discount from PavCo and BCLC construction subsidies to American companies.”
Garossino also questions the expansion of the casino floor included in the plan.
“Are there still two NFL-football fields of gambling floor space, as approved by Vancouver City Council? If there really will be no expansion of gambling, why does the project need to increase its casino floor?”
Garossino wants the project to be carefully scrutinized, “because it looks like we are about to be taken to the cleaners.”
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