MICHAEL MUI (24HRS) Young development executives speaking at a development panel on Thursday say they’re tired of being labelled “bad guys” when they don’t receive any credit for the public works development pays for.
Joo Kim Tiah, the 34-year-old president and CEO of Holborn Group — which is spearheading the Trump Tower in Vancouver — said he almost wants to leave and open shop in another country because developers are rarely recognized locally for their good work.
“We as developers are painted as bad people, that we are making windfall profits all the time,” he said.
“We try our best to contribute back to the communities and neighbourhoods and shape our city, but we’re hated by everyone else.”
Wesgroup properties senior vice-president Beau Jarvis, 39, said there’s a lack of understanding of what developers do.
“Infrastructure, roads, sewers, pipes pump stations, you name it, overpasses, highway exits on ramps, it’s all done by the people in this room,” he said.
“Yet Joe taxpayer believes that’s their tax dollar at work.”
Daniel Boffo, 35-year-old principal of Boffo Properties, said many who show up at community planning meetings “tend to be entrenched in their ways” and unwilling to compromise.
Jarvis calls the naysayers the “vocal minority.”
“We have lawsuits filed by residents associations that are completely log-jamming legal services at the City of Vancouver,” he said.
“The people who show up are literally in walkers and canes. These people are civic-minded and they have the time, but they’re planning for 10-20-year plans that are ultimately going to impact my children.
“And I call this a paradox because I don’t have time to go and attend these planning sessions ... and the people who do have the time aren’t going to be around to see the plan implemented.”
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