BC Liberals and BC NDP promise to fund Vancouver's new Jewish Community Centre

Oct 21 2020, 6:23 pm

Both the BC Liberals and BC NDP made separate pledges earlier this week to fund Vancouver’s new Jewish Community Centre if elected as the governing party.

Vancouver City Council approved the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver’s (JCC) rezoning plan in 2018 to redevelop its existing 3.3-acre complex at 950 West 41st Avenue — the southeast corner of the intersection of West 41st Avenue and Oak Street.

New buildings reaching up to 26 storeys and totalling 220,000 sq. ft. will offer new recreational, cultural, and community space, including a new swimming pool, gymnasium, multi-purpose facilities, senior services, 400 childcare spaces (twice the existing building), and theatre. The Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre will also be expanded.

As well, the redevelopment consists of about 300 new homes, including a mix of market and below-market rental housing.

950 West 41st Avenue Vancouver Jewish Community Centre

Artistic rendering of the Jewish Community Centre redevelopment at 950 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver. (Acton Ostry Architects)

The BC Liberals state they will provide up to $50 million in provincial funding requested by the Jewish organization towards the redevelopment.

“The JCC is a treasured institution in our community, and this exciting redevelopment is vital to Vancouver’s future,” said Michael Lee, the BC Liberals candidate for the riding of Vancouver-Langara, in a statement.

“I’m proud to share that a BC Liberal government will grant the provincial funds requested by the JCC, and will be an enthusiastic partner for the Vancouver and region Jewish community as this project proceeds.”

The BC NDP have also indicated that their provincial government has been working closely with the JCC on the project for several years, and is now ready to advance it by obliging to the organization’s funding request. Compared to the original plans, the childcare component of the facility has significantly expanded under the BC NDP provincial government’s direction.

“This is an amazing opportunity for this growing community,” said Tesicca Truong, the BC NDP candidate for Vancouver-Langara.

“There are more than 300,000 visits a year to the existing JCC, and the new centre will draw even more people to the area, while providing key services for people who live here. If elected, I will work to make sure that this vision becomes a reality.”

950 West 41st Avenue Vancouver Jewish Community Centre

Site plan of the Jewish Community Centre redevelopment at 950 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver. (Acton Ostry Architects)

The redevelopment’s total cost is expected to reach $155 million. The community and recreational centre component will be the redevelopment’s first phase.

In October 2019, the JCC announced a new community land trust entity had been formed to oversee the redevelopment.

The property is immediately across from TransLink’s former Oakridge Transit Centre, which is slated for a redevelopment with over 1,000 homes in buildings up to 26 storeys.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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