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Canucks’ owners offer to build ice rink that False Creek community can use but city unenthused

August 3rd, 2010 · 55 Comments

I’d heard that interesting things were going on in Northeast False Creek as developers, residents and the city meet regularly to talk about this future neighbourhood.

But I didn’t know what until I went to a community meeting Thursday night, where David Negrin of Aquilini talked to local residents about the company’s desire to build an ice rink/community centre for the area. The rink is needed for Canucks’ practice but, since they’d only use it on weekeday mornings, when ice-rink use tends to be at its lowest, it would be available for the community the rest of the time, along with other space that Negrin said would be part of the centre.

As I note in my story today, residents like the idea so far. And obviously developers would rather see the money they’re required to contribute to community benefits to go to the immediate area where they’re building — it helps them sell their products. But the city is saying it wants Aquilini’s community-benefits fees (along with any fees the other property owners in the area will have to chip in) to go to helping pay for the Aquatic Centre renewal and central library upgrades.

This is an interesting tussle and the first time I’ve seen a developer openly at odds with the city about where their community benefits should go. Usually they just hand over the money and the city decides. Not so this time, and Aquilini clearly has residents onside with this. I await further results.

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