The construction of a new public square in Downtown Vancouver is getting some serious money next year.
The Robson Square plaza project is proposed to get $5.4 million in the draft 2019 budget of the City of Vancouver.
The amount represents the bulk of the $6.3 million total multi-year budget for the new plaza at 800 Robson Street.
According to the draft budget, the implementation of a “new permanent plaza at 800 Robson Street” is a step toward “completing the vision for a public square in the heart of Downtown”.
In 2016, city council directed staff to start the process of creating a permanent public plaza at the 800 block of Robson Street.
The block was first closed to vehicular traffic during the 2010 Olympics.
In April 2016, city council voted to permanently close Robson Street between Howe and Hornby streets.
“The 800 block of Robson Street, often referred to as Robson Square, is a city-serving public space with high social, cultural and political value, and a regional destination drawing residents and visitors to the heart of the city for expression, relaxation, and enjoyment,” according to a city staff report.
The same staff report to council in November 2016 noted that the design for the new plaza will “solidify the role of 800 Robson in the public life of the city as the place to seek entertainment, expression, and enjoyment”.
“It will complete the decades-long transformation of the Robson Square precinct into the celebrated heart of Vancouver,” the report stated.