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July 26, 2010

A Vancouver residential condo developer is experimenting with some unique and fresh ideas, in order to bring affordable condos to downtown Vancouver.

In an effort to cut costs, and make this project a reality, the builder is cutting parking, cutting fancy finishes, and cutting a huge marketing program. Further, speculators are cut from purchasing.

The developer, Ian Gillespie, is best known for such luxury Vancouver projects as the Shangri-La and the Fairmont Pacific Rim.

According to the Globe and Mail:

“The 108-unit project is a collaboration involving Vancity credit union, Habitat for Humanity and a Downtown Eastside housing group. Habitat will get four condos suitable for families in the building and will choose who gets them. Another eight units, to be managed by the PHS housing society, will go to local community workers.

The remaining 96 condos will go to buyers who will have to prove that they plan to live in the units and who agree to do some maintenance themselves instead of just paying standard condo-maintenance fees. According to the material submitted to the city, nearly three-quarters of the condos will sell for less than $300,000, and more than half will be affordable to people making between $29,000 and $36,000 a year. That’s the income of an individual earning $15-$19 an hour, or a couple in which each partner makes the $8-an-hour minimum wage.”

Of course there will be NIMBY’ers.. The Globe and Mail says: “The Downtown Eastside’s most vocal advocacy group says it is opposed to the project because, even though its ownership is geared to low-income households, it will still bring gentrification and increased property prices to the neighbourhood.”

Say what?! NIMBY’ers are opposing the project because it is going to bring gentrification and increased property prices to the neighbourhood? Would they prefer a luxury condo there?

The project is located at 60 West Cordova.

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