Sun Asia-Pacific Reporter
April 9, 1998
Details of a $150-million
commercial-residential project, which backers say will revitalize
Chinatown and help gentrify the surrounding area, were revealed
Development (Canada) Ltd., wholly- owned by Hong Kong property
tycoon Lee Shau Kee, is banking on its 300,000-square-feet International
Village complex becoming an international tourist attraction.
The project also includes
a 27-storey, 191-unit condominium tower and underground parking
for 800 vehicles.
"Once it's completed
in early 1999, the entire area will change," Henderson president
Allen Lai said in an interview.
The development, which
is generating about 300 construction jobs, is situated on a city
block bounded by Pender, Keefer, Abbott and Taylor.
It's located immediately
west of Block 17, consisting of the new $6-million senior housing
complex being built by the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver,
and the $5-million social services centre being built by the United
Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society, or SUCCESS.
One block northwest
of International Village is the old Woodward's building, where
another developer is contemplating a condo project.
Two Vancouver councillors
said Wednesday they are impressed by the amenities offered by
"It will be the
catalyst to revitalize Chinatown and provide the economic stimulus
to allow Pender Street to compete with the Asian malls being built
in Richmond," said Coun. Alan Herbert.
Added Coun. Gordon
Price: "It's going to have an impact on the whole area, including
Chinatown, Gastown and the Downtown Eastside. It's going to be
the glue to bring all those neighbourhoods together."
said Lai is receptive to the idea of displaying a collection of
Vancouver's heritage neon signs, including the ones that hung
for decades outside the former Ho Ho Chop Suey Restaurant, in
Chinatown, and the Dragon Inn on Kingsway.
new stores, entertainment facilities and neon display will attract
people from all over," Herbert said. "This will make
Chinatown as exciting an area as it ever has been in the past."
Lai said Henderson's
latest project will be unique because of its international flavour.
At ground level, there will be a combination "Granville Island
market-Chinatown store concept."
The second floor will
be highlighted by a "fashion boulevard," offering retail
space for 40 outlets to sell designer and other clothing from
places such as New York, London, Paris, Florence, Rome, Sydney
Artists' wood carvings
depicting these international renowned fashion centres will be
displayed along the promenade, Lai said.
The complex is also
designed to accommodate six large restaurants offering Chinese,
Japanese, Italian and North American cuisines. Meanwhile, an international
food court will feature two "dai pai dong" -- street-style
cooking made famous in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.
The third floor will
house "Tinseltown," a 12-screen, 3,200-seat state-of-the-art
movie theatre complex being built in partnership with the U.S.-based
marks the second phase of Henderson's developments in Vancouver.
Three years ago, Paris Square, a residential-commercial tower,
was completed at a cost of $75 million.
Lai said down the road,
Phase 3 will include three residential towers, as well as a school,
daycare facilities and a community centre.
Among other projects,
Henderson is building a $120-million commercial-residential complex
in Coquitlam, and an $80-million residential complex in Surrey.
They are among some
$500 million worth of investments that Henderson chair Lee --
who is Hong Kong's wealthiest person -- has made in Canada.
His current net worth
was estimated this week by Forbes magazine at more than $14 billion
Cdn, making him Asia's richest individual.
Originally part of
the Hong Kong consortium put together 10 years ago by fellow tycoon
Li Ka-shing to purchase the former Expo site, Lee still maintains
a penthouse in False Creek.