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Businesses and industry lose out to condos again — in New York

August 29th, 2008 · 2 Comments

For the last couple of years, there’s been much agonizing over whether condos are encroaching too much on the downtown, the invasive species of the development world choking out commercial and industrial uses wherever they go.

People often talk as though this is something unique to Vancouver, the product of its policy of promoting housing downtown. What is often missed is that this is a phenomenon going on in many globally attractive cities, as there’s a kind of reshuffling of uses going on. Of course, it’s a worrying one, since no one is enchanted by the idea of city centres turning into places that don’t have anything but service jobs for the ceremonial and residential users downtown.

But it’s not a Vancouver-only problem by any means as this story about the problems of New York shows.

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  • Ground

    It’s interesting and not surprising to see this happening. San Francisco, Baltimore, Toronto, Portland, and Seattle have all completed industrial land strategies to address this issue but it seems to be most acute in markets where there is limited land available to grow. Vancouver’s mountains, the Straight of Georgia, the Canada-US border and the visionary ALR all significantly limit the regional land supply. It may be time to consider an ILR (industrial land reserve) as well considering the pressure on the region’s industrial lands.
    By the way, the link included in the article is not functioning properly. A quick search did however turn up the following story:

    PS – Frances: It’s great to have you back blogging and shedding light our city and region’s issues.

  • Wagamuffin

    Here’s another horror story from Vanity Fair Magazine that I found two years ago. Though more along the lines of the aesthetics, it all seems eerily familiar and depressing.

    Condos of the Living Dead
    An explosion of high-priced glass-and-steel condos is being marketed to New York’s new rich. Inspecting multi-million-dollar marvels of sterility, the author wonders how any real living could possibly take place inside any of them.
    by A. A. Gill October 2006

    (Please insert the name “Vancouver” and just see if you don’t find yourself nodding to all the references. Shame, shame, shame. When will we ever learn?)