Broadway Subway Steamrolls Through Small Business – Politicians Do Not Care!

Zwei told ya so.

The precedent set by the Canada Line Cambie St. cut and cover is coming to Broadway and that means “to hell with the small business”.

The mayor and council knew this would happen; TransLink knew this would happen (and why TransLink hired a professional spin doctor as CEO) as they know that they will not pay a cent in compensation.

For added insult, rents will increase due to the subway and many businesses will be “sterilized” after the subway opens.

The huge amount of politcal dishonesty is now laid bare and in an election year and I hope the politcal peanut gallery supporting this $3 billion boondoggle, get the boot this fall.

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Worries Broadway Plan will be like Canada Line construction resulting in lost businesses

The Broadway Plan is one of the biggest proposals to shape the future of the City of Vancouver and it all comes down to a vote this week.

Although voting was planned for Wednesday, over 200 people have signed up to speak about the proposal, pushing the vote results to later this week.

This plan looks to bring more homes and high-rises to the new subway line currently being built.

Renters along the busy corridor have already said they’re worried they’ll be pushed out of the area for various reasons, including higher, more unaffordable rents, and some business owners say they feel the same.

Sentheepan Senthivel has been the owner of Greens Market on Broadway near Maple Street for 12 years and he admits he’s never felt so hopeless.

He wants the city to give impacted businesses a property tax break until the project wraps up.

“We’re burning through cash.

“Burnt through about $225,000 already in six months and we’re down about $650,000 in revenues, so quite a bit of money for a small business to just swallow. This is the hardest it’s been since I opened. When I first opened when I was young, didn’t have much cash — that was hard — but this is like… you can’t do anything.”

He says he hasn’t heard from provincial or city officials as the construction and road closures impede people from stepping into his store.

“I’m feeling it’s a battle you can’t win, you’re fighting against giants, and everyone is just pushing you around and throwing you in different directions. [There’s] a lot of lip service and every answer is, ‘No.’ They can’t do this, they can’t do that — it’s definitely emotionally draining.”

Additionally, Senthivel has started an online petition to help local businesses survive.

The idea of giving tax breaks to businesses is something that’s echoed by Leonard Schein with the Cambie Village Business Association.

He was affected by the Canada Line construction more than 10 years ago and is one of the lead plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit connected to the project, that is still dragging its way through the courts.

“It would mean that other residents of Vancouver would probably pay three cents more on their property tax for a whole year. It would be insignificant because it would be spread among the whole city. I wish they would do that. We tried to get them to do it to the Cambie Village and they didn’t.”

He feels the province and city have done nothing to help small businesses, he feels, are crucial to the community.

“It’s not going to be a lot of money. They’re talking about a project that’s over $2 billion, it’s going to be less than 0.001 to compensate those businesses for their losses.”

Schein says the city and province should look to other big cities which have undertaken similar projects, specifically in the U.S., to see how they handled the fallout.

“What was does in the United States is businesses put in their financial statements before the construction, during the construction and after the construction so it’s clear what they’ve lost during that time period and the government gives them that amount so that they’re made whole again.”

Both men are worried this project will end up very much like the Canada Line construction which, Schein adds, resulted in more than three dozen businesses going bankrupt.

‘I’m unable to function’

Regardless of how council votes on the redevelopment plan for Broadway, people who live along the corridor are already experiencing the effects of the loaded construction work.

Karl Prevost rents a commercial space at Broadway and Main Street and lives in a condo in that same building. He says he’s dealing with the noise while he’s at work, and then when he goes home for the evening, there’s no relief.

“I’ve not been able to really make it more than five days in my apartment. Before I had to leave for a week as a result of the noise levels and lack of sleep.”

Prevost tells CityNews the constant noise and vibrations have impacted his health and his business, saying the noise feels never-ending.

“It’s unbearable to be exposed to those noise levels consistently over that period of time. Is it maddening. There’s been times when the vibrations from the work are so loud … my pen jumps across my desk.”

In a statement to CityNews, the City of Vancouver says, “City bylaws, including sound limitations, do not apply in the Province’s construction-required lands. The Province’s contractor ultimately determines how the work is coordinated and is responsible for construction notifications to residents and businesses.”

Prevost says due to what he calls a lack of regulation around noise, the constant construction is taking a major toll on his health and productivity.

“I’ve run this company for 20 plus years now, and for the first time in the last year, I’ve missed several morning meetings as I’m unable to function. It was so bad a while ago that I was actually physically sick, like throwing up while I was working.”

Prevost is one of the over 200 people who has signed up to speak on the proposal Wednesday, and he says he plans on making sure his concerns are addressed.

Comments

One Response to “Broadway Subway Steamrolls Through Small Business – Politicians Do Not Care!”
  1. Haveacow says:

    Is the picture in the article from the Canada Line construction or the current Broadway Extension?

    Zwei replies: Actually no, its from the net. I have been told by those who are affected that it is the same as what happened on Cambie St. Only this time Translink, the province and the MoT are scrubbing all the photos they can off the internet. Our compliant mainstream media is doing the same.

    One of the local papers actually featured a Cambire St. photo as the Broadway construction.

    I have been told that all the stations must be cut and cover style construction.

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