VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A property manager on Granville Island is fuming, saying he’s just been informed of a huge rent increase during the height of the pandemic.
David McCann, general manager of Creekhouse Industries, says he’s been informed by his accountant that, unbeknownst to him, the rents of the four major property owners on peninsula have shot up, retroactive to September. He now owes $10,644.88, but wasn’t informed about the increase until March.
“I’m appalled,” he said. “We were one of the first companies in British Columbia, for commercial landlords, that forgave rent. We were the first on Granville out to forgive rent, and we continue to do that. I mean we forgave over $600,000 worth of rent last year…I’m just I’m livid.”
Last year, the federal government gave $16.7 million to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Cooperation, which runs Granville Island on behalf of Ottawa, and McCann says this year CMHC is getting $22 million. He says as someone who lobbied for that money, he’s angry CMHC would turn around and hike rents, as well as bring back paid parking as of May 1.
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CMHC did bring in a rent subsidy program, but McCann says he and other property mangers who make up around 60 per cent of all tenants are not eligible.
“I can’t pass this on to a tenant, because they’re doing 3 per cent of their annual sales,” he said. “I’ve got 15 retail tenants, the average is just over 30 per cent of their daily sales. I’ve got many of them that have $0 days, day after day after day. You can’t ask them to pay any more money.”
According to McCann, the senior management of CMHC received raises this year and continue to receive the same benefits and paid parking.
“And they’re asking us to pay even more,” he said, adding he wants to sit down with management to work something out. He says he’s meetings with CMHC on Tuesday afternoon.
While he understands a return of paid parking for shoppers, he says CMHC should offer parking passes to shop owners. However, he has still started a petition calling on Ottawa to eliminate the pay parking.
“They got 100 per cent of the revenue that they would have got from the entire island as a grant from the federal government for last year, and for this fiscal year,” he said. “You don’t need that money from the tenants, you could have forgiven 100 per cent of all the island tenants.”