Skip to Content
thescene_blogheader_large.jpg

BARSTA, proposed Broadway line, and developments around Canada Line

Read More:

The Marine Gateway project would be the largest development outside downtown Vancouver. Project sketch by Busby, Perkins, + Will architectural firm. 

Hold onto your hats Vancouverites, development in our fair city shows no signs of slowing down. With the proposal of at least two major projects being built around the Canada line and a rapid transit system running along Broadway, it looks as though Vancouver will be getting another facelift in the coming years. But will the benefits of increasing urban density and mobility in our city outweigh the costs to local residents and businesses, not to mention the dent in taxpayers’ wallets?

This summer The Scene will be investigating a number of stories related to the proposed development projects. We will be your source for the most up-to-date information, featuring local voices on both sides of the issue.

In the coming weeks we will be talking to residents of South Van who are living in or around the site of the proposed Marine Gateway project, a mega-development whose proponents argue will reinvigorate the often overlooked Marpole neighbourhood. We will also be looking into allegations of corruption between property owners and developers in the Cambie Street & King Edward project. Plus we will follow up with several businesses that survived the construction of the Canada Line. Ten months after opening day, what’s the verdict? Was it worth it, or are they still dealing with the fallout? And how do they feel about the Evergreen line, a project that would connect Commercial Drive to UBC through another branch of the Canada Line?

It’s your city Vancouver, so have your say! Are you affected by these development projects? Is your business or home in the path of the wrecking ball? We want to hear from you. Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section below or if you have information about an aspect of this story that you want to see covered here, send me a message at ____________________.

At a meeting this week, Vancouver city council unanimously agreed upon a number of amended guidelines, including reducing emissions and cost-effectiveness, to direct the planning of a rapid transit system that would run along Broadway.

Translink has proposed six possible options for the project, including a SkyTrain on Broadway (and 10th avenue) between Main Street and UBC.

A coalition of business-owners and residents held a meeting on Tuesday in Kitsilano to weigh out alternatives to the plan. Members of the Business and Residents Association for Sustainable Transportation Alternatives (BARSTA) are worried about the effects a SkyTrain would have on their businesses and community. They say that a light rail system i.e. a street-level electric line  would be a less disruptive option.

Donna Dobo, who owns the Just Imagine costume store on Broadway, is worried that she will be "squeezed out of business" during construction. “Business is good, but I don’t know if I could survive three to four years of construction with no foot traffic,” she told The Province. “A tunnel construction with huge craters would completely destroy us.”

BARSTA members recall the fallout from the construction of the Canada Line, during which business dropped significantly for many Cambie street stores.

However, the SkyTrain plan may not be as far along as they fear. When questioned by The Province, Translink's Ken Hardie said, “I honestly don’t know where they got that idea that a SkyTrain is the front-runner. We are looking at a variety of options.”

Hold onto your hats Vancouverites, this is just one of the many signs that development in our fair city shows no signs of slowing down. With the proposal of at least two major projects being built around the Canada Line and the proposal for a rapid transit system running along Broadway, it looks as though Vancouver will be getting more facelifts in coming years. But will the benefits of increasing urban density and mobility in our city outweigh the costs to local residents and businesses, not to mention the dent in taxpayers’ wallets?

There are several other projects to keep your eye on over the summer as well as the proposed Broadway line.

Residents of Marpole may be in for a serious re-vamp of their neighbourhood. The South Vancouver neighbourhood is the site of the Marine Gateway Project, the largest development ever proposed for rezoning outside the downtown. Standing 350 feet (105 metres) tall, the tower would comprise over one-third of the 950, 000 square foot project, according to a report in The Vancouver Sun. The mega-development would include 577 residential units as well as office space, retail, services, public amenities. It would also provide an easily accessible link to the downtown core and airport via the Canada Line.

Proponents argue that the project would reinvigorate the overlooked South Van neighbourhood and act as an "iconic gateway" to the City of Vancouver.

But not everyone is excited about the development. Residents of the neighbourhood are concerned about the size of the complex. “It’s huge," Claudia Laroye of the Marpole Business Improvement Association told The Globe and Mail. "It will take a lot of getting used to standing next to a 40-storey building around here.”

Frances Bula, a Vancouver blogger who has been following the story, reported earlier this month in The Tyee that the Urban Design Panel voted down the project in a 5-4 vote.

However, this is by no means the end of the project and plans are also in the works for other developments along the Cambie corridor. This CTV news report features residents who are "fuming" over possibility of new apartment buildings at King Edward (25th avenue) and Cambie.

So, Scene readers, there's my round-up of the latest news that's been shaking up development in the city.

************************************************************

It’s your city Vancouver, so have your say! Are you affected by these development projects? Is your business or home in the path of the wrecking ball? We want to hear from you. Voice your opinion in the comments section below or if you have information about an aspect of this story that you want to see covered here, please send to info@thevancouverobserver.com

Comments