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

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 Wednesday. 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.” Related articles: Health, tech leaders voice support for Vancouver’s Broadway Plan Vancouver mayor promises to protect renters as concern grows over Broadway Subway Project Broadway SkyTrain developments raise questions for renters 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. Related Video: 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.

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