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Archive for ◊ Economic Development ◊

After two years of community consultation with input from over 7,800 participants at 115 public events and meetings, City Council voted last night to approve a balanced and inclusive new 30-year community plan for Vancouver’s Marpole neighbourhood, which includes more affordable housing and the development of a 10 acre waterfront park.

“Marpole is an important gateway to Vancouver and one of our city’s oldest neighbourhoods, and it’s home to an especially high number of seniors, young families, and renters,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We took the time to listen to the community and get it right, and the new Marpole Plan reflects that input by focusing new density on major arterials and protecting neighbourhood character. It’s a balanced and inclusive plan that focuses on building new affordable housing, creating jobs, improving transportation, and creating significant new green space throughout Marpole and along the Fraser River, and I am very proud to support it.”

The plan will support the construction of 1,085 units of new social housing, 835 new units of rental housing, and over 6,800 new home ownership units over the next 30 years. It also supports significant community amenity upgrades, crucial new park space – including a 10-acre park along the Fraser – and the creation of over 9,500 new jobs and 478 new childcare spaces.

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Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council voted today to approve a balanced and community-driven plan for Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) that will build significant new affordable housing and revitalize the neighbourhood’s heritage character.

The plan’s approval follows three years of development by a resident-led committee, and the hosting of over 300 meetings and consultation events.

“The Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan represents a thoughtful, balanced, and resident-driven vision for Vancouver’s oldest and most diverse neighbourhood,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “This plan reflects residents’ aspirations for a community with safer and more stable housing, protections for low-income residents, stronger support for mental health and addictions, and a more vibrant local economy.

“This plan will create a healthier, more inclusive neighbourhood – but not at the expense of low-income residents.”

Strong new measures are incorporated to protect and improve existing low-income housing while adding new affordable options both in and outside of the neighbourhood, including 3,350 social housing units outside the DTES over the next 30 years.

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Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council voted today to approve a new, forward-looking Oakridge Centre project that will support over 5,000 jobs, provide $228 million in new community amenities, and deliver important new family and social housing on Vancouver’s Cambie Corridor.

“The new Oakridge Centre will support thousands of new jobs, build urgently-needed new affordable housing, and offer remarkable community benefits, including new childcare spaces, a new community centre and library, a new seniors’ centre, and significant new park space,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Metro Vancouver’s regional growth strategy identified Oakridge as a regional town centre, and this project helps ensure that Vancouver’s growth is managed in a way that is responsible, transit-oriented, and delivers unprecedented new services to our residents.

“Close to 1.5 million more people are moving to Metro Vancouver by 2040. By focusing new development at a major hub like Oakridge, we can manage future growth while protecting the character of our single-family neighbourhoods. This is a forward-looking project that addresses some of Vancouver’s most urgent needs: more job space, more affordable housing, more child care spaces and better support for seniors.”

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Following a meeting of the Big City Mayors’ Caucus in Ottawa today, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says that mayors from across Canada are united in their focus on affordable housing and transit, and the need for support from the federal government.

“The Mayors from Canada’s biggest cities are clear: affordable housing and transit are serious challenges in their communities, and we need the federal government at the table. This year’s budget was a disappointment, and simply did not address the serious issues of traffic congestion and lack of affordable housing in our cities,” said Mayor Robertson.

“Cities are the economic drivers of Canada, yet our transit systems are overstretched and our affordable housing is in need of renewal. The longer these issues are ignored, the bigger the risk to Canada’s economy.”

Mayor Robertson is the Chair of the BCMC, and today’s meeting included mayors from across Canada, including Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.

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The City of Vancouver filed for intervenor status with the National Energy Board today on the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, to express the City’s significant concerns about the impact of a seven-fold increase in oil tanker traffic and damage from a potential oil spill.

“The proposal to massively expand the amount of oil shipped through Burrard Inlet from Kinder Morgan represents all risk and no benefit for Vancouver,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.

To view the council presentation from Vancouver city staff on the risks of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, see http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20131204/documents/ptec2presentation.pdf

Vancouver remains the strongest office market in North America, as demand for quality office space outpaces supply. Today, in a joint news conference with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Credit Suisse – one of the top 10 largest private real estate investors in the world – confirmed its faith in Vancouver and British Columbia’s economy by announcing that it will break ground on a $200-million LEED Platinum office tower.

The City of Vancouver recently granted a development permit for Credit Suisse’s 31-storey office tower, The Exchange, in the heart of the financial district.

“We are excited that a global giant like Credit Suisse has chosen Vancouver for its first ground-up development in North America,” says Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Not only will The Exchange add critical new office and job space, but it will hit the highest green standards and deliver a major economic benefit to our city. The Exchange supports a number of our economic and greenest city policies and initiatives, and it is great to have Credit Suisse put down roots in Vancouver.”

Up until recently, the City of Vancouver was projecting a critical shortage of office space by 2031 if land- use policies remained the same. With a new Metro Core Jobs & Economic Land Use plan in place, there are now seven new office towers under construction in downtown, creating 2.18-million square feet of new office space. More than half of that space is already pre-leased.

In the last four years, the City of Vancouver has approved as much office space as in the entire preceding decade.

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