Quayside to be brightened with ads

Formerly published in The Other Press. Nov. 14 2012

New Jumbotron set for approval overlooking Columbia Street
By Elliot Chan, Contributor

On October 24, Plaza 88, the condo and commercial property attached to the redeveloped New Westminster SkyTrain station, presented the concepts for a 732-square foot Jumbotron to the Quayside Community Board. For the past couple of years, New Westminster has been undergoing an extensive makeover. As cranes crowd the skyline and construction crews parade the streets, optimistic residence and business owners are anticipating a boom.

Yet the plan to incorporate the new ordainment does not come without obstacles. The New Westminster’s sign bylaw states that no sign can exceed 215-square foot and prohibits flashing or moving lights and animation. But Penny McIvor, president of QCB does not see a problem with the addition. “[The Jumbotron is] not facing a ton of residences, it’s facing the river and not people’s bedrooms,” said McIvor. “I can’t see it interfering.”

McIvor goes on and addresses the benefits of installing the sign. “We’re OK with it because we need to promote what’s in the mall to make sure the small business don’t fail,” she said, “We’d like to see one screen with all the businesses on it rather than 50 different signs and logos all over the building.”

Plaza 88, the city’s newest development incorporates a unique retail space encasing the New Westminster SkyTrain station. This economic use of space at a convenient location is now home to banks, travel agencies, dentists, small restaurants, cafes, as well as a Safeway. The future for Plaza 88 also includes a multiplex on the second floor.

The proposal for the new sign is still being processed by the council and is currently awaiting approval. The concern regarding the sign is that it can be a distraction for those in traffic, but more so for those who will move into the residential complexes when construction is completed. The parking lot at the front of the Inn at the Quay will eventually be renovated to accommodate both the shoppers and those who live there.

“We want the business to go in there to survive,” McIvor said. “90 per cent of those who live in New Westminster don’t even know there’s a shopping mall there.”

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