2015-06-13: Community planning in the news

2015-06-13: Community planning in the news

— Canada’s Best Places to Live 2015 — MoneySense
— Shaughnessy to become Heritage Conservation District
— “Gentle density” reshaping Marpole
— City condo costs half a million dollars before it’s even built

Canada’s Best Places to Live 2015 — MoneySense
June 1, 2015

The April 2015 issue of MoneySense rated Moody Centre at #1 out of 118 greater Vancouver neighbourhoods. We reported on the findings in earlier post Moody Centre tops the list in MoneySense’s neighbourhood rankings.

Port Moody is #32 on MoneySense’s latest list of 209 communities spanning Canada.
Other Tri-Cities: Port Coquitlam is ranked #34, and Coquitlam is ranked at #54.

“We here at MoneySense do something similar each year, spending months sifting through reports from Environics Analytics, Statistics Canada and other data providers. In a country that measures 6,521 km across, with massively different economic regions and seven distinct climate zones, you can imagine it’s a lot to digest. We carefully weigh dozens of factors to get a big picture of the overall health of 209 communities across the country.”

Click on link (title) above for overview and additional links, including the full list of 209 cities.


Shaughnessy to become Heritage Conservation District
Proposal would give the city the ability to stop demolitions, offer incentives to keep old houses
By JOHN MACKIE, Vancouver Sun, June 4, 2015

Vancouver is putting some teeth into its Heritage Action Plan.

A report going to council June 9 calls for First Shaughnessy to be named the city’s first Heritage Conservation District, which could dramatically change development in the historic neighbourhood.

“For the very first time, we can say no to demolition,” said Brian Jackson, Vancouver’s general manager of planning and development.

For complete article, click on link (title) above.


“Gentle density” reshaping Marpole
The first multi-family development under the City of Vancouver’s new RM-9 zoning has begun marketing in Marpole
By Frank O’Brien, Business in Vancouver, June 3, 2015

The first multi-family development under the City of Vancouver’s new RM-9 zoning has begun marketing in Marpole.

Developer Marcon bought the Yukon Street land assembly of six single-family lots in October of last year for $12.6 million and launched the 73-unit low-rise Park&Metro on the 34,600-square-foot site last month.

Under the RM-9 zoning, a floor-space-ratio of 2 is allowed, which equates to a buildable square foot cost of $182 for this project, or about $100 less than the average on Vancouver’s west side. The city also charges $24.25 per square foot in community amenity contributions under RM-9 zoning.

It’s the first low-density development of its kind in Vancouver built off a major street in more than 30 years.

Marcon’s two-building development will densify the area but not in typical, Vancouver high-rise fashion. One building will be modern; one will be heritage to make it look like two small, boutique buildings and not one big development. Both will be four storeys. There are street entrances for all row-house style suites.

“It’s a natural evolution from laneway homes, and townhouses and a positive way to handle growth and curb issues of affordability,” said Marcon’s development manager, Nic Paolella. He called it “gentle density without urban intensity.”

Park&Metro is the first project to be built under the city’s new RM-9 zoning for Marpole that was put into place after the extension of rapid transit into Vancouver’s west side.

Park&Metro will feature courtyard entry gates for ground floor homes, with floor plans from 570-square-foot one bedrooms to 1,300-square-foot three bedrooms. The homes are two blocks from the Marine Drive Canada Line station at the south end of Cambie Street. Prices start in the mid-$300,000 range.


City condo costs half a million dollars before it’s even built
CACs, LEED, assorted fees add up to significant bill for Vancouver developers
By Frank O’Brien, Business in Vancouver, June 2, 2015

A typical condo in Vancouver has embedded costs of more than $500,000 before it’s even finished, according to a series of studies of land values, construction costs and municipal fees and levies.

A year ago, the Urban Development Institute (UDI), Pacific region, studied the input costs for a high-quality, highrise concrete tower in Vancouver with 115 condos of 800 square feet each, based on 2013 prices. BIV has updated the numbers to current values to see what it would cost today to deliver each condo in the same hypothetical condo tower.

Based on recent Vancouver multi-family land sales outside of the downtown core, land values equate to an average of $280 per square foot, according to Colliers International’s Metro Vancouver LandShare Report.

The hard construction costs to build a high-quality, highrise condo tower in Vancouver, according to Altus Group’s 2015 Construction Cost Guide, work out to $282 per square foot.

So the land and hard construction costs combined equate to a per-condo price of $449,600, or $562 per square foot.

Then come City of Vancouver development fees and levies. First, the city charges community amenity contributions (CACs) based on 75% of the increase in land value after zoning to higher density. The UDI reckoned that, on this sample building, the CACs would amount to $48,295 per unit. The city also charges development cost levies and demolition fees that add a further $14,427 per unit.

Vancouver requires that all new developments subject to rezoning meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold sustainability standard, which adds $11,718 to each condo price.

It also has levies to collect money for district energy use, car share programs, electric vehicle charging stations and public art, which tally, in this sample, to an estimated $1,704 per condo unit.

For this sample, Vancouver civic fees and levies pencil out to an average of $76,144 per new condominium unit.

At this point the new concrete apartment has embedded costs of $525,754, or around $657 per square foot.

This price is before any suite finishing or building amenities are complete and before financing costs, marketing and promotion expenses or the developer profit are factored in.

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