Commercial First Blog
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - Government Relations
Extending SkyTrain along the Broadway Corridor – the Millennium Line Broadway Extension – is a major priority for the City of Vancouver and TransLink’s Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation.
But, Vancouver council is determined to avoid the type of price escalation speculators created by buying up land near proposed SkyTrain stations when the Cambie corridor expansion was announced.
While the city has begun drafting a Broadway plan, Vancouver council has adopted a new policy to curb speculation along the corridor which establishes development contribution expectations (DCEs).
In a letter to Phil Moore, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president, Gil Kelley, Vancouver’s general manager of planning said: “This measure will ensure land owners, REALTORS® and developers are made aware of the city’s intention to achieve affordable housing and community benefits as part of the community plan for the area.”
Kelley explained in this letter that Vancouver has brought in DCEs to enable buyers to factor in the potential costs of providing amenities when rezoning or density bonusing occurs.
The new Broadway Plan
Broadway is a regionally important area that connects the largest university, University of British Columbia (UBC), and the largest hospital, Vancouver General Hospital, in Western Canada.
There are more than 125,000 residents within the corridor (including UBC) with a further 70,000 expected by 2045. With more than 105,000 jobs along the corridor (including UBC), Broadway is the second largest job centre in BC, and a major source of employment for residents throughout Metro Vancouver.
The new Broadway Plan is being drafted by city staff for the Broadway corridor which stretches from Commercial Drive to UBC.
The plan, expected to be completed in 2020 will focus on neighbourhoods along the Millennium Line expansion located in the area from Clark Drive west to Vine Street in Kitsilano (two blocks west of Arbutus) and from 1st Avenue to 16th Avenue.
The plan will address the need for:
Opportunities to have your say
There was a consultation session in May 2018 and there will be a consultation process beginning in early 2019. Realtors will be able to provide input including ideas and recommendations.
Read the staff report to Council (Opens 50-page pdf).
Areas specific DCE targets
Community planning area
DCE Target Area
Broadway Area Planning
C-2 Market residential strata
$3,552.09/ sq. m.
Broadway Area Planning
C-3A East of Main St. (Market residential strata)
Broadway Area Planning
C-3A West of Main St. (Market residential strata)
The DCE of $425 per square foot would add almost $297,500 to the cost of a 700-square-foot condo west of Main Street.
DCEs won’t be collected when land is bought or sold. The DCE is the amount expected for future redevelopments.
When the Broadway Plan is completed, DCEs will be reviewed and may be revised to reflect the densities, mix of uses and amenity needs in the planning area.
The DCEs will be updated and incorporated into the community amenity contribution (CACs) policy for the planning area.
Under the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan, there’s a requirement for a one for one replacement of rental units for new developments of three units or more.
Vancouver prioritizes job space along Broadway between Yukon and Oak, and no additional residential density will be considered in this area.
Development Contribution Expectations Policy (Opens a 6-page pdf)
The Broadway extension is expected to be completed in 2025.
There were 523 commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2018, a 10.8 per cent decrease over the 586 sales in Q1 2017, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).
The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland was $3.031 billion in Q1 2018, a 38.5 per cent decrease from the $4.927 billion in Q1 2017.
“Our commercial market returned to more historically normal levels in the first quarter of the year compared to the heightened activity we experienced in 2017,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “This shift to more typical activity is mirroring the overall economic trends we’re seeing in our province today.”
Q1 2018 activity by category:
Land: There were 221 commercial land sales in Q1 2018, which is a 3.9 per cent decrease from the 230 land sales in Q1 2017. The dollar value of land sales was $1.594 billion in Q1 2018, a 20.5 per cent decrease from $2.005 billion in Q1 2017.
Office and Retail: There were 173 office and retail sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2018, which is down 15.6 per cent from the 205 sales in Q1 2017. The dollar value of office and retail sales was $1.076 billion in Q1 2018, a 51.8 per cent decrease from $2.232 billion in Q1 2017.
Industrial: There were 113 industrial land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2018, which is down 7.4 per cent from the 122 sales in Q1 2017. The dollar value of industrial sales was $0.280 billion in Q1 2018, a 12.2 per cent increase over $0.250 billion in Q1 2017.
Multi-Family: There were 16 multi-family land sales in the Lower Mainland in Q1 2018, which is down 44.8 per cent over the 29 sales in Q1 2017. The dollar value of multi-family sales was $0.081 billion in Q1 2018, an 81.5 per cent decrease from $0.441 billion in Q1 2017.
Download the Complete Report.
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