Dear Polaris Realty Canada Limited,
On November 30, 2012, Harbour Centre food vendors were served eviction notices by your corporation in advance of construction to renovate the complex which is scheduled to begin in April 2013. These vendors have been asked to vacate by March 31, 2013.
While the vendors were told they could reapply to return after construction completes, the vendors are required to pay exorbitant lease fees in order to do so. Due to these unreasonable tenancy fees, current vendors are, in essence, prohibited from returning. Instead, it is likely that only mega-corporations, national and international food chains will be able to afford rent in the new food court.
Many of Harbour Centre’s current food vendors are independently and/or family owned and operated. Relationships which have been established between these vendors, Simon Fraser University-Harbour Centre, and locals who frequent the food court stand to be lost as a result of the redevelopment. The new businesses, likely to be big and pervasive food chains, will substantively alter the community and destroy the unique character of our food court.
The supporters of the independent food vendors at Harbour Centre urge Polaris Realty to listen to the concerns of this community and reconsider its decisions: we declare our opposition to the permanent removal of current food vendors at Harbour Centre.
We, the undersigned, therefore request that:
1. Existing food vendors at Harbour Centre are offered the First Right of Refusal, which would allow them with the first opportunity to retain their tenancy; and
2. Polaris Realty Canada Limited waives the unreasonable re-application fees for current vendor tenancy.
Should the conditions above remain unmet, supporters further pledge to refrain from purchasing food or confections from any of the replacement vendors.
The Supporters of the Independent Food Vendors at Harbour Centre