Vancouver moves to control Broadway land speculation ahead of subway construction

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      It’s no secret that rapid transit is coming to Broadway.

      Since 1999, it’s been known that a subway system is the option preferred by the City of Vancouver and TransLink.

      A lot of things have happened since then, including a number of land deals.

      It may have taken almost two decades, but procurement for the Broadway subway is expected to finally happen in 2018.

      With the project looking to be certain, the city is at last talking about trying to control land speculation along the corridor.

      According to a media, the city is proposing a new policy to curb real-estate speculation along Broadway “in advance of the community and transportation planning that will culminate in a new SkyTrain line”.

      “The proposed new policy measure, called a Development Contribution Expectation, is intended to limit land value speculation by ensuring that owners, realtors and developers are made aware of the City’s intention to preserve and grow affordable and rental housing and job space along the Broadway corridor, and provide needed community amenities to service growth,” the release states.

      Staff will submit a report to council in June 2018 regarding the planning program for Broadway.

      New condos are expected along Broadway.

      “A substantial contribution has been determined by independent analysis from a City consultant, based on the anticipated market value along the corridor, where additional market condominium density is being sought,” according to the media release. “This is an interim rate intended to inform land transactions in the area of the potential Community Amenity Contribution rate for condominium development at the end of the planning process.”

      The release notes that that there will be “no additional density of market condominiums in areas that are already protected against the loss of rental housing through the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan - which requires a one for one replacement of rental units for new developments of three units or more”.

      “In addition,” the release continues, “the City currently prioritizes job space along Broadway between Yukon and Oak, and no additional residential density will be considered in this area”.

      The Broadway subway will be an extension of SkyTrain’s Millennium Line.

      The project will have six stations.

      An April 2018 estimate puts the cost of the project at $2.83 billion, up from $1.9 billion in 2015.