May 12, 2012

60 W. Cordova Turns Renters Into Owners

Project houses those who have ties to area

The 60 W. Cordova project, so named for its street address, is now complete, and home to people who have either lived, volunteered or worked in the city’s Downtown Eastside. The project, a collaborative effort between Westbank Projects Corp. and Vancity, was designed to make home ownership a possibility for those who may not have previously imagined it — in other words, to turn renters into owners.

Several mechanisms were put in place in order to put the homes within reach of people with a Downtown Eastside connection. Marketing was low-key, for instance, finishes are more modest than what might be seen in more upscale projects, and parking was kept to a minimum. For its part, Vancity worked with the developer to offer attractive mortgage financing packages to buyers.

Vancity CEO Tamara Vrooman said one of the company’s strengths is its ability to “connect with the communities.” “60 West Cordova is a great example of how we have been able to create an opportunity for our members to purchase affordable housing and develop a vibrant community which is at the heart of sustainable banking and our philosophy of putting money to good,” Vrooman said.

The artwork on the front of 60 W. Cordova was designed to reflect the collaboration behind the project, architect Gregory Henriquez said when the undertaking was launched. “[The] silkscreen silhouettes of people standing on each other’s shoulders, holding up the building, is a metaphor for rising higher,’ he said.

Vancouver Sun

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