Museum, shops and seniors’ housing: The 105 Keefer that might have been

Jen St. Denis, Metro, Jun 14 2017

Council’s decision to turn down an application to build a 12-storey condo in the heart of Chinatown has some thinking about what could be, although the fate of the site is still very much up in the air.“There was a site that had been vacant for a long time and it was the last large, vacant site left in the community,” said Nathan Edelson, a former Vancouver city planner who worked with the late architect Joe Wai on an alternate vision for the site at 105 Keefer St. Read more…

Beedie Living’s proposal to build a 12-storey condo at 105 Keefer St. (currently a parking lot) was denied by council on June 13.

Canada 150: Yip Sang, the unofficial mayor of Chinatown

JOHN MACKIE, Vancouver Sun, June 13, 2017

You can’t overstate Yip Sang’s importance to Vancouver’s Chinatown. Working as the superintendent for the Kwong On Wo company in the 1880s, he imported 6,000 to 7,000 Chinese labourers to work on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Yip Sang held several positions: bookkeeper, timekeeper and paymaster. Legend has it he used to pay the Chinese CPR workers by riding his horse to the Chinese campsites carrying a sack of money, and a gun, just in case. Read more…

A 1916 photo of Yip Sang, middle, with some of his 24 children and grandchildren. HANDOUT

Vancouver city council votes down 12-storey Chinatown tower

By Justin McElroy, CBC News, Jun 13, 2017

105 Keefer St. development rejected in 8-3 vote; councillors note how proposal divided the community.
A much debated proposal for a 12-storey tower in the heart of Chinatown was voted down by Vancouver city council Tuesday afternoon. The 105 Keefer Street development was rejected by a margin of 8-3, with Mayor Gregor Robertson and five of six Vision Vancouver councillors joining NPA Coun. George Affleck and Green Coun. Adrianne Carr in opposition. Read more…

Artist’s rendering of the residential tower Beedie Development wanted to build at 105 Keefer St., in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown. (105keefer.com)

A new battle for Chinatown

KERRY GOLD, June 2 2017

Back in the sixties, they battled a freeway. Today, it’s pricey condos that threaten to wipe out Vancouver’s historic enclave. Suelina Quan and Larry Chan’s heritage house at 658 Keefer St. represents the survival of the Strathcona neighbourhood in which it sits, as well as neighbouring Chinatown. Read more…

Residents fear a gentrifying path of condos will erase the ‘heart and soul’ of Vancouver’s Chinatown.
RAFAL GERSZAK/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Chinatown fight over 12-storey condo has deep roots

Mike Howell, May 31, 2017

Council to decide June 13 on Beedie’s proposal for ‘heart of Chinatown’. One of the first stories I wrote when I joined the Courier some 15 years ago was about how merchants and business organizations wanted to revitalize Chinatown. It was dying, they said. Read more…

Residents wait to speak Monday at one of four public hearing sessions held at city hall on a 12-storey residential development planned for property at Keefer and Columbia streets in Chinatown. Photo Dan Toulgoet – See m

Is a condo building like a tree? Speakers have their say on controversial Chinatown proposal

Jen St. Denis, May 26 2017

It’s a condo building proposal that has come to represent the gentrification fears of an entire community. Tonight is the third night of public hearing for a 12-storey building proposed for 105 Keefer. In return for extra height, Beedie has offered to sell 25 apartments to BC Housing for low-income seniors and offer a discounted rate for a seniors’ cultural centre space on the ground floor. Read more…

Chinatown is home to many businesses that sell traditional and affordable Chinese food. But those shops have been disappearing as commercial rents rise in the neighbourhood. (WANYEE LI)

What banquet culture means to San Francisco — and Chinatown

April Chan, May 12, 2017

San Franciscans of a certain generation have a specific vernacular to describe things of epic proportion: hella. (To emphasize the epicness, trill the “l” for added dramatic effect.) For this San Francisco native, it’s the only word that comes to mind when I think of banquet dinners in Chinatown. As in, hella loud. Hella, hella food.
And in the case of Chinatown’s New Asia restaurant, hella big. So for me, news of the city’s decision to convert Chinatown’s largest banquet hall into affordable housing brings mixed feelings. With gentrification sweeping through many parts of San Francisco, any effort to keep increasingly disadvantaged, longtime residents of any neighborhood — let alone, a historic district such as Chinatown — should be lauded. Read more…

Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle / The popular New Asia restaurant in S.F.’s Chinatown is popular for banquets. The city is in contract to purchase the property and convert it into affordable housing.

Chinatown residents rally to oppose condo beside memorial

Wanyee Li, May 18 2017

Chinatown advocates are once again readying themselves for a fight to protect their way of life in a corner of the neighbourhood that holds special meaning to the community. The proposed 12-storey condo would be built next to the Chinese-Canadian memorial at 105 Keefer St.. But many current Chinatown residents won’t be able to afford to live next to the very memorial dedicated to them and their families, said advocate Beverly Ho, with the Chinatown Concern Group. Read more…

Beverly Ho stands beside the memorial dedicated to Chinese-Canadians in Vancouver’s Chinatown. (JENNIFER GAUTHIER/METRO)