The controversial Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) move has been given a boost by city hall after council was recommended to green light a new site to house the institution's expanding collection.
City staff have recommended that the gallery move to Larwill Park, a site that currently houses a parking lot bounded by Cambie, Dunsmuir, Beatty and West Georgia Streets, The Georgia Straight reported.
City manager Penny Ballem recommended a 99-year lease for the gallery, conditional on it attracting $150 million in funding by April 30, 2015, the newspaper reported. Council will vote on whether to adopt the recommendation at an April 23 meeting.
The move already has massive support from Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who said the new gallery could showcase new artists and enhance the city's brand, The Globe and Mail reported.
The recommendation comes after years of discussions dating back to 2006, when the city first looked at a new location for the VAG. In 2008, then-Premier Gordon Campbell recommended a waterfront site for the gallery but VAG director Kathleen Bartels was more interested in Larwill Park, The Globe reported.
But not everyone is happy with the possible move. Vancouver developer and art collector Bob Rennie says the move would be too expensive for the city and for corporate donors, The Vancouver Sun reported.
He said the plan for the art gallery does not reflect the "reality of the current economy."