Business

The new Vancouver plan wants to protect the business, but it’s a difficult order

The Draft City-wide plan plans courses to maintain and strengthen existing business districts, such as the Downtown Peninsula, while expanding commercial opportunities in higher density “perfect neighborhoods.”

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Vancouver faces major challenges in achieving its goal of building a vibrant, walkable high street and commercial center, as envisioned in the city-wide plan announced on Tuesday. ..

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The Vancouver Plan is the result of community talks aimed at addressing the population growth of 960,000 by 2050, 90% of which are “complete” with the comfort of living within a 15-minute walk. It is a vision that seeks to live in the “neighborhood”. Riding a motorcycle.

However, the plan landed at a time when Vancouver’s business district was working on a COVID-19 pandemic that had soared rents, drastically raised property taxes due to soaring assessments, and forced many retailers out of business. ..

“There seems to be this gap between all these admirable goals for nearby retail and commercial businesses and what you want to do to achieve them,” said the city planner. Andy Yang said.

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“We are talking about a larger systematic challenge for commercial rent, taxation and transportation.”

The vision of the Vancouver Plan is to “protect” Vancouver’s dense business and industrial districts, including Vancouver Harbor, downtown and Broadway business districts, and the South Vancouver Industrial Zone. This is 10% of the land that supports 50% of Vancouver. Planning Manager Karis Hiebert said:

“We also think it’s important to add work space to nearby areas such as restaurants and home repair shops to better support people’s lives,” Hiebert said in a media briefing. I did.

The plan examines the city’s transportation network and, if necessary, identifies important opportunities for expanding nearby commercial hubs, especially in areas within a 10-minute walk from major train stations.

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The city’s planner, Teresa O’Donnell, said the next phase of the draft plan would be based on lessons from a pandemic about the importance of gathering public spaces and the role of restaurant pop-up patios performed on lively streets. Said to do.

“It was great to see literally hundreds of pop-up patios and street spaces being reassigned to pedestrians and people instead of cars,” O’Donnell said.

However, according to a survey of Vancouver’s Business Improvement Areas, the city’s commercial districts are now suffering from higher vacancies than are considered healthy.

In a large area of ​​Strascona on the eastern side of the city, retail vacancy rates reached 27% and hasting crossing was 22%.

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Therefore, in the Vancouver project, “the challenge here is to come true,” said Yang.

In the short term, Mr. Yang wants to streamline the licensing process for new businesses that want to continue the previous use of vacant commercial areas, that is, “Phoenix Permits” are a means that could help during the pandemic recovery period. Said to be one.

City officials and councils are addressing rising asset values, rising rents, and the tools needed to support businesses, O’Donnell said.

She added that the city council has long supported the use of split valuations of commercial real estate to protect businesses and is considering other tools such as business rent protection.

However, it is important to combine commercial development with population growth to support a vibrant business. Sarah Kirby Yong attended the briefing on Tuesday.

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“I think the retail category is still strong because of the population density around it,” says Carbyyon.

The city council must also be more flexible in its zoning to accommodate the city’s increasingly expensive real estate business.

This could include allowing multiple uses in a commercial space such as a coffee shop during the day or a live performance venue at night, or placing multiple pop-up businesses in the same place in one space. There is sex.

“(Affordable business) will be relative, and it’s not unique to Vancouver,” Kirby Young said. “That’s where you have to be much more creative, as other major world cities are getting more expensive as well.”

depenner@postmedia.com

twitter.com/derrickpenner

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The new Vancouver plan wants to protect the business, but it’s a difficult order

Source link The new Vancouver plan wants to protect the business, but it’s a difficult order

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