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Woodward's gets its welcome mat ready

From Friday's Globe and Mail

Officials preview the new project, hopeful it will spark a revival in Vancouver's drug infested Downtown Eastside ...Read the full article

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  1. pants 7 from Japan writes: I have an idea; standardize property taxes across the city, regardless of property value. Tax one square meter of residential land, commercial land, or industrial land at a fixed rate across the entire city and a tax on floor space on a residential, commercial or industrial building at a fixed rate citywide. For most people it would be about the same but owners of land and buildings is the East side would see an increase which would be a big incentive for private business to clean up the area. It would also help the city manage its affairs as the property tax stream would be more consistent and not dependent of the roller coaster housing market; allowing the city to better do long range planning.
  2. Zando Lee from Canada writes: ...just in time for the for the politicians to sharpen their wits and polish their smiles....
  3. West Coast Not West from Canada writes: The Downtown Eastside has been plagued for almost two decades by widespread drug addiction, homelessness, prostitution and poverty.

    Mr. Matas, if you would have taken the bus to the Army and Navy or Woodwards, like I did, in the early seventies you would have seen that the area was just as you described it. But that was almost 4 decades ago. The downtown East side has probably had problems since the days of Gassy Jack.
  4. DAVID STEIN from TORONTO, Canada writes: "Two decades", Robert Matas???? I was born in Vancouver, in 1949, and grew up there. The east side of downtown has always been the worst skid row in North America, with the highest drug addiction rate on the continent.

    When the Olympics are broadcast far and wide, the whole world will know about this disgrace to our country. Good!
  5. Kevin Desmoulin from TO, Canada writes: Bricks do not make a neighborhood, people do, Good Luck
  6. Mikey Gault from The Moral Highground, Canada writes: I'm looking at the Woodward's as I write this email and I can't fathom why anyone would want to live there. The area is digusting. How are you supposed to work to and from work? If you don't get home by 7pm, you will be sharing the sidewalk with groups of drug addicts. I predict there will be a surge of assaults and robberies when Woodward's opens. I'd feel sorry for these suckers who bought but they did so knowing who their neighbours were going to be.
  7. Ralph TheDog from Calgary, Canada writes: It will be a very long time before middle class people move into that neighbourhood as many drug addicts will do anything to get their fix and frankly people will be afraid to venture out beyond driving into/out of their parkade and cocooning. This is no different than any other area in North America that has attempted this type of integration. It will be slumsville in 5 years.
  8. Brian Thompson from Calgary, Canada writes: Watch the number of units that can't/won't complete! All those speculators expecting so much will be sorely disapointed!
  9. T Rogers from Vanc, Canada writes: Crack-head for council president... you gotta love-it.
  10. Dave Tyldesley from Vancouver, Canada writes: To Kevin DesMoulin's comment that "brick's do not make a neighbourhood," I agree 100%. That being said, no one in the article professes that this building will solve all of the problems. It is just one piece of the puzzle. Bringing retail and "life" to an area where vacant boarded up buildings once stood for decades cannot be a bad thing. There are thousands of people who have moved to this area in the last few years, including myself. Many people in fact love the edginess of the area - it's not yaletown and it shouldn't be. There are art galleries, funky shops and cafe's and eateries with a more grimy "real" feel to them. Mikey Gault and Ralph the Dog - you're wrong on your comments. As a resident of the area I walk the streets all the time, day and night. It is not a dangerous area. Property crime is an issue there but it isn't any worse than it is near Robson (where I lived for 5 years before moving to this area). I have never felt threatened though by the homeless or the drug-addicted - they are in their own worlds most of the time. It is only visually intimidating for the un-initiated. I see Woodwards as a catalyst like many other things. Lastly Brian Thompson: This building sold out in 2005 at prices that are well below current market value so there is no reason to think that a "more than normal" amount of people won't complete.
  11. Ralph TheDog from Calgary, Canada writes: Dave T, are you talking East Hastings around the old Woodwards or somewhere else, or are you 6'8",300 lbs and openly pack a gun? I have previously lived and worked near that part of Vancouver for years and saw a totally different picture than the one you paint. I also know of no place on the planet where drug addicts keep to themselves once their high wears off.
  12. Kevin Smith from Vancouver, Canada writes: LOL - Ralph the dog you crack me up... I live in Yaletown and walk around that area a lot - While it lacks that sanitary sterility of Calgary, it is perfectly safe - the crime statistics for the area clearly demonstrate this. Your anecdotal observations are way off base and me thinks you must be an incredible wuss!
  13. Squish_a_p From BC from Canada writes: I too have walked in that area and never threatened.

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