Wednesday, January 16, 2013

120 Days of Waldorf

Last night, while driving home from the opening of Neil Wedman's excellent exhibition at the Charles H. Scott Gallery, I had the displeasure of hearing CKNW junkyard dog Bruce Allen opine on Waldorf Promotions and why they do not deserve of our sympathy. This was a typical Allen rant, full of froth and vituperation, and, as usual, left me not with answers but with questions about the former bouncer's emotional health.

Earlier that day I received Waldorf Promotion's latest press release/open letter, which says that although they will be moving on, they will continue to scrutinize the Solterra Group of Companies as the developer waits out the City-imposed 120-day stay of demolition of the Waldorf Hotel site.

Prior to that we had the Georgia Straight's Charlie Smith reporting on his conversation with Marko Puharich, who sold the hotel to Solterra, and who was obviously hurt that Waldorf Promotions had been speaking to developers (Westbank) about buying the hotel and putting a tower in its parking lot, a conversation that might explain why Puharich stopped communicating with WP last August.

So now what? Where does that leave things? What will happen in a 120 days?

Seems the City likes Waldorf Promotions. Not just Vision buts its civil servants too. Because the City owns a number of buildings, might they give WP a sweet lease on one of them? Will WP provide a similar function as that other City-favoured licensee, David Duprey?

Does Solterra like architect Scott Cohen's renovation of the Waldorf Hotel, or does it interfere with their vision of money? Personally, I would be sad to see the hotel razed in favour of a tower, just as I am perplexed as to why a man such as Puharich, who loves the hotel (his father started as a line cook there), would rather see it destroyed than sold to a developer eager to integrate it within a mixed-use concept (if indeed that developer existed).

Are there other questions worth asking on this issue, or are we content to enter the Bruce Allen answer phase?

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