After 33 years in business as a beloved local shop in Vancouver’s West End, Chocolate Mousse Kitchenware (1553 Robson Street) is being forced to close due to an enormous increase in property taxes on the retail space it leases, as a result of the dramatic increase in property values resulting from the West End Community Plan (WECP) adopted in 2013 by City Council.
Related article: Taxed to death: How Vancouver’s small businesses are falling victim to soaring property tax (Chocolate Mousse Kitchenware faces closure after a 92-per-cent rate increase, the latest in a line of long-established businesses set to shut shop) by Jan Zeschky, Westender, 14-Dec-2017.
This site was rezoned as a part of mass rezoning in parts of the West End in January 2014 by the Vision Vancouver dominated City Council in line with the new WECP, allowing a significant increase in the permitted building height. At that point, the then landlord made a huge windfall profit when it sold the property to 1135952 B.C. Ltd., Inc. The final approval for the current owner VivaGrand Developments (the North American office of Xiangli, based in China) to build a 28-storey tower (1555 Robson Street – DP-2018-00589) is now set for the City of Vancouver’s three-person internal Development Permit Board, slated for 3 pm, January 7, 2019. (There never was a public hearing, but concerned citizens can register and speak to the DPB.)
Christmas message from owners:
We have installed our 23rd animated Christmas window. It is of course our Swan Song. Short of a miracle this will be our last Christmas. Now more than ever we need your support to get us to the end of our lease. If you haven’t shopped yet, we would love to see you, and if you have shopped, thank you… and we’d love to see you again. We would like to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas.
Karen & Jane and our lovely staff
The Chocolate Mousse Kitchenware
“IT’S A SWANDERFUL LIFE”
Chocolate Mousse Animated Christmas Window, December 2018
Some things in life are bad.
They can make you really mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
The property tax jumped 400 percent.
It’s even higher than the rent.
But cheer up because next year it gets worse. Continue reading