There are currently a variety of things being discussed for the Onni boardwalk at Imperial Landing. Onni is still proposing the potential for a grocery store in the second closest building to the village which is not viable for the merchants. The merchants understood that Onni was looking to instead establish a gym or even relocate Steveston Hardware but an Onni representative says a grocery store is still in the cards.
The merchants also have concerns that a hotel may not span both of the two most easterly buildings, which is critical because it would pare down the retail options on the site, thus reducing competition.
Other ideas for the 60,000 square foot development include office space and a bank.
If the site is rezoned, the closest building to the village appears slated for retail and/or a restaurant, which is fine with the Merchants Association.
Onni's proposal will go before a pubic hearing on October 6th, a significant step in the official city hall discourse.
As far as what will weigh strongest in regards to opinon of what will happen, there is no formula. It is unclear as to who has more sway, a merchant, a group member or a resident that lives across the street from the proposed hotel or someone who lives in the City Centre.
A resident currently living across the street says there is more support for a Granville Island style rezoning that features local, artisan crafts and a market.
He say's a waterfront location is no place for a large grocery store.
A major bone of contention with the city is the amount of money Onni is offering to rezone the buildings.
City staff and Onni agreed that rezoning would increase the value of the land by $4.8 million and Onni is saying it would pay half. That amount is actually lower than the $3 million it offered 2 years ago, because the cost of retrofitting the hotel units eats into the profit.
The city typically receives 100% of the land lift when it allows developers to rezone for density.