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The Province Bought ICBC...What's Going to Happen Now???

ICBC building sold to the province

The Province of BC's decision to turn the ICBC building at Lonsdale Quay into residential units with 20% set aside for affordable housing is going to shake things up in North Vancouver. Here are some issues we might face and how it could affect locals:

Potential Issues:

  1. Zoning and Red Tape:

  • In the past anything like this would have to go through Council but the new provincial mandates mean that they can build anything they want on that land without public approval. How will this sit with residents?

  • With no public approval process how are we going to know that what they're doing has oversight? Who's watching to make sure it won't have a negative affect on the city?

  1. Infrastructure Overload:

  • More residents mean more pressure on our schools, healthcare, and public transit.

  • Upgrading these services to meet the new demand is going to be expensive and could cause some disruptions.

  1. Community Pushback:

  • Some folks might not like the idea of changing the neighbourhood’s vibe.

  • There could be worries about more traffic, noise, and just having more people around.

  • what about the construction phase? What sort of chaos will that cause? The Seabus is a pretty major people mover!

  1. Financial Hurdles:

  • Developers might struggle to make the project profitable while still including 20% affordable units.

  • Subsidizing these units could drive up prices for the remaining market-rate homes, making affordability a mixed bag.

Impact on North Vancouver Residents:

  1. More Housing Options:

  • This project will add more homes, which could help ease some of the housing crunch.

  • Affordable units will give middle-income families a chance to live in North Van, bringing more diversity to the area.

  • The main idea is to provide housing for people who work in the community and that's great!

  1. Economic Boost:

  • Construction and development will create jobs and give local businesses a lift.

  • New residents will spend money locally, helping shops and services thrive.

  1. Demand for Services:

  • With more people around, we’ll need to beef up community services like parks, rec centers, and public amenities.

  • The local government will need to plan and budget for these changes to keep our quality of life intact.

  • (little known fact, the Federal gov has a $9b infrastructure fund to help with this but we don't really know how that's allocated)

  1. Risk of Gentrification:

  • While the aim is to provide affordable housing, the overall development could push property values up, potentially pricing out some long-term residents. I mean, this has already happened but let's be real here, waterfront condos at Lonsdale Quay, at market value, are not going to be cheap!

  • We’ll need careful planning and community engagement to make sure this project benefits everyone and doesn’t just cater to newcomers but since we are not going to get community engagement through Council readings we're going to have to watch this ourselves and make sure everyone knows what's going on.

In a nutshell, this development could bring some much-needed housing and economic benefits to North Van, but we’ll need to manage the challenges carefully to make sure it’s a win for the whole community.

What are your thoughts???


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