Category Archives: Development

Density for sale $34.88 per square foot

Source: Decision on Onni’s bowling bid delayed 

From the North Shore News Jun 21st, comment from Voices:

The ‘over-excavated’ space will be a commercial venture, probably leased to an operator.   Bargain price: $275,000 for 7,884 sq ft = $34.88 per square foot.  Another 4-3 vote with the developer-funded slate voting in favour.

 

 

 

 

Sky-high condo prices aren’t a supply problem

From the Globe and Mail (Gary Mason), quoting in part:

‘No, there is lots of “supply” in Vancouver and Toronto. That isn’t the issue. It’s who’s getting access to that supply that is a big part of the problem. And it’s also the type of “supply” being built.

Many of the condos being constructed are designed to be purchased by wealthy investors, the Lamborghini crowd. They aren’t being built for a couple of young professionals starting a family. Not unless you consider $1-million for 1,000-square-feet on the 10th floor of a tower in suburban Burnaby, B.C., reasonable. No, somehow, some way, governments need to encourage developers, through incentives or whatever it takes, to start building housing that the middle class can afford.

Right now, developers are getting everything their way. They are putting pressure on local politicians to speed up the approval process so they can erect more towers, more quickly, but they are doing nothing – nothing – about the costs of the units they are constructing. In fact, you could argue they are engaging in activity that is helping ensure the costs keep going up.

It’s ridiculous.’

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/sky-high-condo-prices-arent-a-supply-problem/article35091277/

EDITORIAL: Health and wealth

Editorial in the North Shore News today:

Source: EDITORIAL: Health and wealth

We celebrate this week with the District of North Vancouver and the North Vancouver Recreation and Culture on the (phased) opening of the new Delbrook Community Recreation Centre.

A community with a busy rec centre is a healthy community.

The district initially intended to pay some of the $53.5-million cost by selling off some of the old Delbrook land but, facing blowback from the community, council scrapped that plan and citizens will pay down the $28 million in debt and the accompanying interest largely through their taxes.

As municipalities go, rec centres are big, big-ticket items. The City of North Vancouver could be spending three times as much on a replacement for the Harry Jerome Recreation Centre depending on what amenities it will include.

Plenty of people in the aquatics community have questioned the wisdom of building two 25-metre pools within walking distance of each other when pool users from both sides of the city/district boundary say they’d prefer one (much more expensive) 50-metre one.

It’s a crystalline example of how, even with shared services like the recreation and culture, North Vancouverites’ interests are divided by silly borders.

But, as we saw with paying for Delbrook, a council can be persuaded.

On Monday night, the city council is holding a special meeting just to listen to presentations from Harry Jerome’s user groups.

On Tuesday night, the wider community is welcomed to offer their input at a town hall meeting at the Pinnacle Hotel. We encourage everyone to show up and help shape the rec centres that will keep them in shape.

– See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-health-and-wealth-1.19669793#sthash.oVwJCmny.dpuf

Full CNV report details: http://www.cnv.org/parks-recreation-and-culture/recreation/harry-jerome-rec-centre

 

 

 

Housing talk gets louder and angrier in Vancouver

Article in The Globe and Mail today and quoting in part:  one conclusion  “that more supply is nothing but fuel for the unaffordability crisis”

 “The only group at fault are politicians who want growth without having to pay the requisite cost.”

Because the majority of our infrastructure was built before 1990, we are continually drawing on that value with massive new developments. Government should be tapping the “vast fortunes being made in real estate” to ensure equal access to public infrastructure,” he says, echoing Mr. Hudson’s argument for far heftier taxes on speculative buying.

“The growth has not paid for itself. Much of the infrastructure is relatively dated and paid for by a generation that was far more generous, and we are drawing down on that, compromising the quality of life without growing the infrastructure. We are creating congestion, whether it’s traffic, or at the hospitals or universities, whatever. There is plenty of money in private growth, so the growth should at least pay for itself. Why should government and the people in the middle foot the bill?

“Somebody doesn’t spend $4-million on your house alone. It’s the region they are buying, not the house. It’s the community that makes it special. It wouldn’t be worth anything if the community were to decay. That’s what we don’t understand.

“Obviously something terrible is happening – the money flooding in is not a sign of a healthy functioning capitalist market.

“The only group at fault are politicians who want growth without having to pay the requisite cost.”

Source: Housing talk gets louder and angrier in Vancouver

Report calls for fast-tracking medium density housing in Metro Vancouver

Source: Report calls for fast-tracking medium density housing in Metro Vancouver

Vancouver Sun today:

More housing is needed that’s not single-family detached homes or high-rise condominiums if the region’s affordability crisis is to be brought under control, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade says.

And politicians need to make it easier for developers to build in-between types of housing or local businesses could be suffocated by the region’s inability to attract young talent to live and work here, the board’s latest housing report says. 

The report was to be released at a board housing forum on Tuesday after nearly a year of research, said the board president, Iain Black.

He said his group’s last economic scorecard, in May, rated Vancouver’s affordability at 15th out of 17 cities surveyed — with only Shanghai and Hong Kong rated more unaffordable.

“Out of that report came a number of priorities, including our inability to attract and retain 25 to 35 year-olds, and that is directly tied to affordable housing and public transit,” Black said. “These middle-income earners either have young families or want young families, and they want to choose communities that are desirable to live in, but also physically located close to where they work. We have a great disadvantage in attracting that demographic right now.”

The housing report makes seven recommendations. The main one is giving higher priority to medium-density projects such as duplexes, courtyard apartments, townhouses, laneway houses and secondary suites. The aim of these is to attract young families that can’t fit comfortably in a small highrise condo unit but cannot afford a single-detached home.

The recommendations calls for a more developer-friendly environment to promote these options, dubbed “missing middle” housing, by creating clear deadlines for project approval, allowing a list of previously accredited developers to get fast-track approvals, and changing the community amenity contribution rules away from time-consuming case-by-case negotiations to a set price per unit or per square foot.

Black said some projects in Metro Vancouver are taking five to seven years to get from conception to construction.

“You cannot legislate or bylaw your way out of this problem. You need to do it with partnerships with the people who actually build these things, who are actually putting capital and shovels into the ground.”

A number of the report recommendations are already taking shape in some cities. The City of North Vancouver, for example, processes development permit application and building permit applications at the same time, instead of requiring applicants to get one permit approval before seeking the next one. Black said such changes are still the exception rather than the rule, and a “cultural change” is needed at the municipal level.

“This is not an indictment of the status quo,” he said. “It is, however, an honest assessment that things need to change. And they must change immediately … and the municipalities’ responses have been positive.  They all realize that we need to change, and the current response is not working. This is the start of this conversation.”

chchiang@postmedia.com

Opinion: Housing reset — Supply myth exposed, but more of the same

Comment by Voices:  This article in the Vancouver Sun today applies equally to the City of North Vancouver.  Planned development is well ahead of the Strategic Growth Strategy, updated statistics to come shortly.  

Quoting in part: 

The City of Vancouver is finally admitting that they cannot build their way out of the housing affordability crisis. The supply myth has been driving ever-escalating amounts of market housing, but affordability is getting worse, not better. The city now says that “we have plenty of supply — what we need is the right supply.”

This is the conclusion of a recent report to council that proposes a housing reset. Although they correctly identify that a change of direction is needed, the city instead proposes more of the same.

The city has been approving market development at a record pace, yet prices continue to escalate. The new supply is not bringing affordability and never will if we continue doing the status quo.

In fact rezoning has been inflating land values while demolishing the older more affordable housing stock. People are being displaced and priced out of their city. This is what happens when the real estate market is disconnected from the local economy.

Many of the needed solutions are out of the city’s jurisdiction. However, the city’s own land-use policies of promoting unsustainable levels of market redevelopment has been largely responsible for enabling this crisis to escalate.

Source: Opinion: Housing reset — Supply myth exposed, but more of the same

 

 

City of North Vancouver council green-lights Green on Queensbury

Source: City of North Vancouver council green-lights Green on Queensbury

Comment by Voices:   Another lost opportunity to fulfill the earlier plans for Moodyville. Three four-storey buildings that mirror most of the buildings further  west along Marine Drive:

 Proposed Development looking southeast from East 3rd Street and Moody Ave

What happened to “With the community’s participation, these guidelines have been developed to advocate for a welcoming and attractive neighbourhood. They illustrate multifamily development that frames local, tree-lined streets. A range of building forms and housing types create a diverse streetscape, unified by the pedestrian-scale rhythm of front doors with paths to the sidewalk. Lanes and greenways further promote a living streets approach with fine-grained access through the neighbourhood. Buildings follow the natural slope, and considerations of view impacts and neighbourliness temper the apparent scale of development. Contemporary architectural forms support placemaking and comfort through well designed frontages and enhanced energy efficiency, noise reduction and adaptability. The Moodyville guidelines will support efforts to increase family-friendly housing in the community through designated densities that allow for a diversity of ground-oriented townhouse and low-rise apartment housing forms. Buildings are commonly arranged around a courtyard, and, in almost all forms, each dwelling benefits from a front door opening onto the street, lane or mews” (ref: http://www.cnv.org/Property-and-Development/Projects-and-Developments/Major-Studies-and-Projects/Moodyville-Development-Controls-Process)

Affordability?  Suggested prices in excess of $700,000 for a two bedroom unit is not helpful to keep young families in the City, and is as ridiculous as Councillor Back’s comment speaking about the Grand Boulevard application that smaller lots in the Boulevard  area could be “great starter homes”.    Thanks (again) to Councillors Bell, Bookham and Clark for not supporting the project.

Disappointing (again).