Left to right: The Hon. Selina Robinson, B.C. minister of municipal affairs and housing; Michelle Pollock, past president of the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver; and Eldad Goldfarb, JCCGV executive director. (photo from JCCGV)
Selina Robinson, British Columbia’s minister of municipal affairs and housing, visited the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver last month to make an announcement regarding the centre’s planned redevelopment.
On June 13, Robinson announced a provincial contribution to support the planning phase of the redevelopment, which intends to replace the existing JCC with a new facility where the existing parking lot is located, as well as a multi-use tower to be located on the site of the existing JCC, most of which will be housing. (For details of the plan, see jewishindependent.ca/jcc-site-to-be-redeveloped.)
“The B.C. government is committed to increasing the affordability and availability of housing in B.C. and we welcome opportunities, like the community centre-led project, that can support these goals,” the ministry of municipal affairs and housing said in a statement to the Independent. “A total of $200,000 has been provided to the Jewish Community Centre to support further development of the housing component of their plan. This plan has the potential to serve people at all ages and stages of life with housing, a new community gathering place, and services for seniors, children and their parents.”
Eldad Goldfarb, executive director of the JCCGV, said the province’s support for this component of the process is an important recognition of the value of the project for the community.
“It’s a very helpful contribution toward the planning process. It’s not money that will be used toward bricks and mortar because, at this point, we’re doing the planning, the rezoning, the budgeting and all these parts that are comprised of planning,” he said. “It’s an initial infusion of support, an investment by the province, to help us move the planning along towards getting this project started and completed.”
The redevelopment dovetails with a number of the provincial government’s priorities, including affordable rental housing, the creation of new childcare spaces, supports for seniors and cultural spaces.
Goldfarb said the community centre is keeping federal, provincial and civic officials closely informed about the project’s progress.
The City of Vancouver is expected to convene a public hearing on the proposed redevelopment this fall.
“We’re excited to see the B.C. government provide planning funds for the JCC redevelopment,” said Karen James, board chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, in a statement to the Independent. “This will be a transformational project for our community and the Oakridge area.”
*** This article has been edited to reflect that the redevelopment will no longer include a new home for the Louis Brier Home and Hospital. ***