Waldorf's letter to Gerry Nichele, CEO of the Solterra Group
Attention Gerry Nichele,
As we are sure you know from the media coverage with respect to your recent purchase of the Waldorf Hotel site, we are very distressed at the loss of what we and many, many, others see as a huge part of the Vancouver arts scene.
We consider this loss to be illustrative of many of the key challenges facing our city, the loss of cultural space, the predominance of condos as a land use, and the rapid gentrification and consequent loss of affordability of the east side.
We may have lost our base of operations, and we are hopeful that we will find good space elsewhere. But, the loss of the Waldorf has renewed our passion to fight for the kind of Vancouver we want – one full of art and life. We see this piece of land and hotel site that we care about as a key part of that battle, whether we are here are not.
Accordingly, we hope you understand that our agenda will be to mobilize all the resources and contacts we have in the arts community of the city we love to make sure that every single step of the rezoning process you will undertake is carefully and rigorously scrutinized. Our intention will be to support the City of Vancouver in insisting that any rezoning must minimize market condominium uses, and maximize benefits and space for the arts community.
We will put this case forward in the media, in writing to the city, on the internet, and in person at the public hearing. We are not anti-development. We just believe that this purchase and your rezoning process represents a key watershed moment in our ability to save a place for culture in our city.
We hope you choose to have an open mind about creating a place for the arts on the Waldorf Hotel site. It is your responsibility to the City.
We would like to start the discussion by suggesting you host an open public forum as a goodwill gesture. The intention of the forum will be for you to put forward your vision for the site, and for you to hear in person the possibilities this site has to keep Vancouver a great city.
We are with the arts community. We have a voice, and we will use it to be heard as you work your way through the process of rebuilding this critical part of our town.
We hope you choose to hear that voice.
The Waldorf Creative Team