There’s a news conference skedded tomorrow on the York Theatre with a host of city personages, including developer Bruno Wall, Mayor Gregor Robertson, former councillor now consultant Jim Green, architect Gregory Henriquez, theatre advocate Tom Durrie, and Cultch manager Heather Robertson.
That can only mean
1. Bruno Wall has been successful in buying the Commercial Drive 1913-era theatre from the former, not-too-happy owner who was going to tear it down and build townhouses. (This marks the third cultural venue the Walls have helped save or build in the city, starting with the Stanley Theatre back in the day of the Wall Centre project, the Playhouse mini-theatre and storage (some day) in Southeast False Creek, and now this.
2. The city is going to talk this up as a great save for the arts community (with others chiming in)
3. It’s going to be a very lovely project, if Henriquez is involved.
4. No one is going to mention the arts community — or some parts of it — being a little uneasy about the fact that the York is getting 100 per cent of the money it needs to save the building through various city mechanisms, like density bonuses and whatever else some creative planner can dream up.
That’s while the rest of them are always told that the city only contributes one-third of any funding needed, while the other two thirds are supposed to come from the province and the feds.
This has to have everyone wondering what a VV council’s last-minute save might look like for the Pantages.
To see the back and forth on this project, you can read the very informative comments on my previous post here.