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In the continent’s hottest housing market, Vancouver will try to create an “affordable home ownership” program

April 19th, 2016 · 10 Comments

The good folks at city hall are probably wishing someone had started the idea of an affordable home-ownership program 10 years ago, when prices were way more reasonable. At any rate, they’re going to try now by getting units in new development projects through developer community-amenity contributions and then selling them to people at below-market […]

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Concord purchase of central industrial site has everyone in a flap

April 13th, 2016 · 15 Comments

It’s amazing how much interest there has been in Vancouver’s beer factory at the south end of the Burrard Bridge. Ever since Molson announced it was being sold, there’s been speculation about the buyer and the price and the future. It’s not the first time Vancouver’s west side has gone through this. For you youngsters, […]

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Giant Oakridge project gets scaled back amid concerns re construction costs, retail economy

January 13th, 2016 · 7 Comments

This is a first for Ivanhoe Cambridge, the global real-estate investment firm, and for the city — a $1.5-billion redevelopment project scheduled for Oakridge Centre is being scaled back. My story here details the many reasons the company gave and that retail consultants also suggested: high construction costs, a hugely long period of construction that […]

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City and developer negotiate unusual deal to replace social-housing building, add market rentals in Downtown South

March 14th, 2013 · 34 Comments

It’s all here. FRANCES BULA Published Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013 09:54PM EDT Last updated Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013 10:04PM EDT A developer has negotiated an unusual partnership with the city to swap lots in return for building social housing downtown. In a pitch that neither side has rushed out to advertise widely, Brenhill Development proposed […]

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Vancouver aims for unique solution to bikeshare + mandatory helmet conundrum

January 10th, 2012 · 127 Comments

The city that Vision Vancouver has tried to make as bike-friendly as possible has been trying to get a bike-share system here for two years (remember when there was talk of a trial during the Olympics, using Montreal’s Bixi’s on loan during the winter?) but still doesn’t have one. This is going to be the […]

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Backyard cottages, coach houses, laneway houses: They’re a trend

October 31st, 2010 · 20 Comments

As council comes up to a vote on where to go with laneway houses this Thursday, my look here at their popularity in Vancouver and elsewhere. There are many issues I didn’t address in this story that I have elsewhere (complaints about the sizes of some of the larger ones, the outsize city fees that […]

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Garbage pick-up gets a makeover in Vancouver

July 16th, 2010 · 21 Comments

When Vancouver city manager Penny Ballem started talking about reorganizing the city last year to make it more efficient, I heard a lot from people inside city hall saying saying everyone knew there were things that needed to be fixed, but no one had ever had the jam to actually take action. Too hard to […]

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Vision/COPE councillors vote against uncertain tree-preservation plan

June 10th, 2010 · 24 Comments

In spite of a valiant effort by a whole group of people hoping to save the 120-foot tulip tree in the West End, it was a no. Architects Bing Thom and Michael Heeney, the former head of real-estate services for the city, Bruce Maitland, an arborist and a landscape architect were not enough to convince […]

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Big, fat casino downtown likely to provoke “nasty discussion” at council

March 23rd, 2010 · 22 Comments

When I started working the city-hall beat in 1994, I was plunged into furious debates about casinos. The Mike Harcourt NDP government was entertaining a proposal to have a big, destination casino on the waterfront behind Gastown. The NPA city council of the day took the public opposition to that and ran furiously with it, […]

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The problem with the VAG moving to Larwill Park? City needs $50 million profit there

March 7th, 2010 · 5 Comments

The ongoing saga of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s efforts to get more space and/or move to another site have been going on for years, starting sometime in the 90s. (There’s a wild conceptual image from that early era of the plan to double the gallery’s space at the existing location, which you can find on […]

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