Commercial First Blog

New Vancouver policies curb speculation along Broadway corridor

September 19, 2018
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.

Limiting speculation
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:
  • expanded affordable housing options, including social housing, market and below market rental close to transit and jobs;
  • retention of existing rental stock;
  • increased market residential strata units (this will be limited);
  • increased commercial (job) space and enhance commercial shopping streets and local business opportunities;
  • improved transportation;
  • new and improved parks and public spaces; and
  • additional public amenities such as childcare and community facilities to serve a growing population.

  • There’s an interim rezoning policy while the planning process is underway.

    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).

    DCEs


    Areas specific DCE targets


    Community planning area

    DCE Target Area

    DCE Targets

    Broadway Area Planning

    C-2 Market residential strata

    $3,552.09/ sq. m.

    ($330/sq. ft.)

    Broadway Area Planning

    C-3A East of Main St. (Market residential strata)

    $3,552.09/sq. m.

    ($330/sq. ft.)

    Broadway Area Planning

    C-3A West of Main St. (Market residential strata)

    $4,574.66/sq. m.

    ($425/sq. ft.)


    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.

    Read the:
    Development Contribution Expectations Policy (Opens a 6-page pdf)

    The Broadway extension is expected to be completed in 2025.
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