Disappearance of Granville Loops will transform south end of downtown

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      For years, the city has talked about removing the Granville Loops.

      Those are the off-ramps linking the north end of the Granville Bridge to Pacific Street, winding around the Black Top cab property on the west and the former Cecil Hotel site on the east.

      Today, Cressey Development Group released an artist's rendering of what the area will look like when these huge slabs of pavement are wiped off the map.

      The elimination of the Granville Loops will provide much easier pedestrian access from this part of the downtown to the waterfront.

      Eventually, Rolston Crescent, which runs south of Drake Street, will be divided into two narrow one-way streets. According to the city, pedestrians will be able to go down these streets to False Creek, thanks to "safe new crossings on Pacific Boulevard".

      Behind the Best Western Hotel on the west side of Granville, Cressey is developing the 193-unit, 32-storey Maddox high-rise.

      Earlier this year, Cressey vice president Hani Lammam told the Straight that his company prefers investing in neighbourhoods with the breadth of services that condo living requires.

      "Once we’re satisfied that the services and the amenities and the transportation systems will all be there, then we can step in," he said, citing Maddox as a "perfect example" of this.

      The company has two development sites in the block—one for Maddox and the Maddox sales centre next door, which will be redeveloped into a rental building.

      Meanwhile, Danish architect Bjarke Ingels has designed a twisting, 49-storey tower that will be developed at the corner of Howe Street and Beach Avenue for Westbank Projects Corp. Rize Alliance is proceeding with its 23-storey tower called The Rolston at the former Cecil Hotel site. And Onni Group is building a 47-storey tower called Mark on the southern end of Seymour Street.

      Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.




      Jun 14, 2012 at 8:50pm

      Many of the listed changes to the Granville Loops are proposals. Projects still have to go through Public Hearing. It's important to make the distinction of what will be and what may be. There's no such thing as a 'done deal'.


      Jun 14, 2012 at 11:45pm

      As we have seen with the current city council, Public Hearing and Done Deal are not mutually exclusive concepts.


      Jun 15, 2012 at 7:19am

      Where will the traffic go? I'm not into cars, but people aren't going to park them.

      Evil Eye

      Jun 15, 2012 at 7:22am

      Just another reason not to go to downtown Vancouver. Maybe they should put a great wall around the downtown core.

      R U Kiddingme

      Jun 15, 2012 at 10:23am

      Have you been to other downtowns? Vancouver's is non-hideous, diversified, clean and populous at all hours. I have no doubt that you can find many many people who would say that council could do this better or that better, but the more I travel, the more I appreciate this place.


      Jun 15, 2012 at 11:15am

      Another ideological anti-car move, made by people who don't actually live downtown, that makes little sense.

      Interesting that Meggs could care less about small businesses but will spend tens of millions pacifying billionaire developers.


      Jun 15, 2012 at 12:05pm

      What nonsense Charlie. Are you saying it is so incredibly difficult to walk down Howe Street or Seymour Street now, and that pedestrians would rather walk down what will amount to a narrow alley? And good luck dealing with all the cars forced to make a series of right hand turns.


      Jun 15, 2012 at 1:16pm

      How stupid. There is absolutely nothing hindering pedestrians from accessing False Creek now. Destroying the loops will only add to traffic problems by making it difficult to get onto Pacific from Granville or to get onto Granville from Pacific. Think about it - what can now be accomplished by simply turning once without having to stop will now require four stops and turns while dealing with numerous other cars and pedestrians. I have never seen a city so controlled by developers. Nothing in this plan is beneficial except some billionaires get to sell more condos.


      Jun 15, 2012 at 3:00pm

      6 months after they're gone you won't miss them, along with those nasty viaducts.


      Jun 15, 2012 at 5:11pm

      @ Hermie "Are you saying it is so incredibly difficult to walk down Howe Street or Seymour Street now, and that pedestrians would rather walk down what will amount to a narrow alley?"

      Are you serious? Have you actually walked in this area at all? To get to the waterfront on Seymour, you have to walk along a tiny strip of pavement that has been blocked by construction more than it is open. On the opposite site of the street you go past the off-ramp, through a filthy piss-smelling graffiti covered hole littered with garbage and the occasional needle.

      On the Howe side, you get to walk uncomfortably downhill along a similarly narrow strip of pavement, ending up on a dingy street corner.

      As someone who lives downtown, I absolutely support this. Get rid of the paved wasteland between the ramps and turn that back into actually useful space for everyone, rather than just suburbians driving in.