Vancouver has been tussling with the issue of condos in its downtown business district for a while.
There’s still a debate going on between the planning department, which is trying to preserve a strong core of office-only space and a substantial inventory of office space throughout the downtown peninsula, and developers, who have developed a lot of expertise in building condos and say that Vancouver’s office market just won’t support a lot of office-only buidlings. So they’re pushing for the right to have more office/tower combos.
Vancouver is not the only city with that issue, though it creates more angst here among those who fear we’re turning into a resort city with no real business base. Others are dealing with it, including, yes, Toronto. I have a story in the Globe’s Property Report section today that looks at the specific question of buildings that mix condos and offices in downtown districts.