So I’m thinking of starting an ongoing column titled “That’s Not News!”
Like the exclamation mark?
Anyway, the idea came to me after pointing out recently the police chief and mayor telling us the city is mired in a mental health crisis is old news. Shortly after that, I pointed out the Vancouver Police Department urging injection drug users to use the Insite supervised injection site is also old news.
A simple Google search will tell you that.
But here we go again, faithful readers, with another “story” that emerged last week and got plenty of play in the media — even a front page spread in a daily! My first thought:
What the heck did I miss?
What I missed was Concord Pacific holding a press conference last Wednesday to show media what the neighbourhood around B.C. Place Stadium is going to look like once the developer’s eight buildings are built.
These are the same buildings that will be located in the neighbourhood where Paragon plans to build its casino resort adjacent to B.C. Place Stadium. (That announcement occurred last month and, yes, that was news).
Concord has decided to call the neighbourhood False Creek Central.
OK, you got me there with the name — that’s new. But as many city hall watchers will attest, the plan for the neighbourhood has been brought several times, in different versions, before council. If I had been notified of Concord’s press conference, I would have asked the company’s brass what was new about its plan.
So why the heck wasn’t I invited?
As some of you will recall, I’ve written stories over the years revealing how Concord has given lots of money and freebies to local politicians. I’ve also questioned why Concord hadn’t built a nine-acre park in Northeast False Creek it promised and why that property was assessed at an unbelievably low value ($192,000 at one point and now I understand it’s zero).
I emailed a senior staffer at Concord and then received a phone call from a Concord rep. He assured me it was simply an oversight that the Courier wasn’t invited to the press conference. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, so I believe him. I also believe him when he said nothing was essentially new about Concord’s plans for the neighbourhood.
Concord simply wanted to give the public an idea what the area will look like with renderings of the company’s buildings mixed in with Paragon’s casino/resort adjacent to B.C. Place Stadium.
When Concord gets approval for all eight buildings, the company says there will be more than 1,300 homes in the neighbourhood and 90,000 square feet of commercial, retail and services. But Concord will have more neighbours than just Paragon. The neighbourhood will see significant changes once the Plaza of Nations site is redeveloped by Canadian Metropolitan Properties, which has plans for towers and an ice rink that will be used by the Vancouver Canucks for practices and shared with the community for public skating.
The Aquilini family is involved in the ice rink development and has plans for more towers around Rogers Arena. And once the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts are demolished (c’mon, do you think they’re going to stay?) they’ll be more development in the neighbourhood.
And when that all comes together, it will be worth a news story.