A Vancouver city councillor is urging officials at the Vancouver Art Gallery to take a serious look at relocating to the Canada Post building downtown at the corner of Homer and West Georgia streets.
Canada Post has already announced plans to close the downtown mail sorting facility and move its operations to a site near the Vancouver airport by 2015, but future plans for the building have not been announced by the federal government.
Councillor Geoff Meggs says the building could be a great new home for the gallery, which has outgrown its current home several blocks away at the corner of Hornby and West Georgia streets.
The city has already reserved a site for a new gallery two blocks east of the post office at the corner of Cambie Street and West Georgia streets.
But the project remains on hold because the $300 million need to build it has yet to be raised. In the meantime the city has also instructed the director to review several options including renovating old space instead of building new.
"I'm convinced the art gallery should expand. I'm not convinced that it necessarily has to move to Larwell Park where the old bus depot used to be," Meggs told CBC News.
"I hope that they do give it a very serious and hard look at the post office, especially if the federal government is willing to make it available for other purposes."
Meanwhile architect Michael Green has a counter proposal: keep the current building and build satellite galleries across the city.
"The idea would be to raise $50 million or $70 million and build a gallery in Gastown that celebrates West Coast art," said Green.
A decision by the city isn't expected for some time.
In 2009 the City of Winnipeg voted to spend $29 million dollars to buy its old post office after Canada Post moved its operations to the airport in 2009, and another $105 million to turn it into a new police headquarters.
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