Port Metro Vancouver will be taking over the management and operations of Granville Island from the federal government’s Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
According to the Vancouver Sun, discussions have been ongoing over the last two years between Port Metro Vancouver and CMHC while the City of Vancouver has also made attempts to buy or acquire the island to prevent the transfer.
Both Port Metro Vancouver and CMHC are crown corporations of the federal government.
The Port oversees 600 kilometres of the Lower Mainland’s shoreline within 16 municipalities and operates 28 deep-sea and domestic marine terminals. It is one of the region’s largest economic engines, generating 100,000 jobs and an output of more than $20 billion every year.
On the other hand, the national housing agency was responsible for the transformation of Granville Island from derelict industrial lands into the thriving arts, cultural and tourist trap that it is today. CMHC has operated and maintained Granville Island since 1972 when the redevelopment project first began.
While Port Metro Vancouver and Granville Island might seem like another odd fit, the Port has the financial capability to revitalize the island – a much needed resource as the island’s buildings and facilities are in need of critical maintenance and its largest tenant, Emily Carr University of Arts & Design, is slated to relocate from its 195,000 square foot space to a newly constructed campus at the False Creek Flats in 2016.
The Port authority also has the strong leadership required to establish a long-term vision for the island. It owns and operates Canada Place, another major tourist attraction that hosts public events year-round, including the annual Canada Day events of which Port Metro Vancouver is the presenting sponsor.
Featured Image: Granville Island via Shutterstock