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What happens when cities put their own money on the line for development

February 18th, 2013 · 3 Comments

Big cities like Vancouver and Toronto have embarked on their own development projects over the years. But now we’re starting to see places like Surrey and New Westminster put cash on the line to try to make money from the real estate they hold or invest in development to spur more private-sector interest. My story […]

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Rob Ford wins in Toronto, but (many) sort of right-wingers here don’t see him as a model

October 25th, 2010 · 18 Comments

Rob Ford, the un-PC guy from the burbs, is the new mayor of Toronto, in case you didn’t know. Start reading here. In the meantime, the party that is hoping to shake Vision Vancouver and Gregor Robertson off their perches in Vancouver are looking for who should lead them into battle. They have no one […]

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Olympic village prompts questions about city policy of mixing rich and poor

October 5th, 2010 · 35 Comments

There is social housing all over the city, but most people don’t realize it. Coal Harbour, the nice section of Kitsilano next to Jericho Beach, north False Creek, the West End, south Granville — there are unobtrusive apartment buildings everywhere. For a long time, that’s gone unquestioned. But in the past week, the issue has […]

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Development consultant analyzes mistakes and raises questions for Olympic village

October 3rd, 2010 · 49 Comments

Development consultant, ex-planner for Simon Fraser’s UniverCity, and candidate for the NPA in the last election, Michael Geller is front and centre these days talking about the Olympic Village here and on his blog. Michael’s latest analysis, posted on his blog and emailed to many of us (including city manager Penny Ballem) with more details […]

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Geller reports from Shanghai World Fair

May 26th, 2010 · 12 Comments

I fear that Michael Geller is starving to death on his visit in China, due to a lack of internet connectivity. Here is compilation of a couple messages he has sent out this week and I’m adding a link to his blog post at the Vancouver Sun. This is quite the popular place for Vancouverites […]

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Vancouver’s two main political parties plan the future

April 29th, 2010 · 45 Comments

My assignment: Compare and contrast the annual general meetings of Vancouver’s two major political parties, the Non-Partisan Association, once all-powerful, now hunting for its way forward, and Vision Vancouver, the new ecocapitalist party, still riding high on its 2008 win. (Someone once said being a journalist is like having homework the rest of your life. […]

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Architect takes up city’s new mini-suites policy

August 10th, 2009 · 8 Comments

It will be interesting to see, in five years, how much new housing is created by some of the city’s “gentle densification” policies, as they call them: laneway houses and lock-off suites inside condos. As other media reported last month, almost two dozen people lined up to apply to build laneway houses as soon as […]

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Laneway house vote today

July 28th, 2009 · 21 Comments

Vancouver council is expected to approve laneway houses today, which will give 65,000 homeowners in the city’s RS1 and RS5 (single-family) zones the right to build a 750-square-foot house at the back of their lots. I have a story on this move, which others across the country are watching with some interest and some bemusement, […]

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The future of Vancouver’s downtown decided

April 22nd, 2009 · 32 Comments

While many of you were watching a couple of hockey teams face off on Tuesday night, there were two other teams facing off at city council over an issue that is key to what kind of city people think Vancouver is about: how much housing should be allowed downtown and how much of the downtown […]

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A visit with the two brothers building the Olympic village

March 29th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Here’s my latest column in Vancouver magazine, where I got to spend some time with Peter and Shahram Malek of Millennium Developments — the developers at ground zero in the current financial/housing/Olympics twister. Everyone in town has been playing backseat driver to these two and speculation continues to be rampant about the end cost of […]

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