The Livable Region Strategic Plan is Working
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For years, the Livable Region Plan and its successors have been criticized because, while residential development has clustered around rapid-transit in regional town centres like Metrotown, little office space accompanied it.
That’s changed. And the evidence has come from the private sector. Here’s the Jones Lang LaSalle report quoted:
“Transit is becoming increasingly important in Metro Vancouver,” said Jones Lang LaSalle Executive Vice President Ray Ahrens. “Our Rapid Transit Office Index shows clear evidence that office developments located within walking distance of rapid transit have a significant advantage with less vacancy and higher rents.
The direct vacancy rate for buildings within 0.5 km of a rapid transit station is 4.8 percent compared to 12.3 percent for the rest of the suburban market, and the average asking rents are approximately 8 percent higher.”
along with this Vancouver Sun coverage:
… the importance of having office space close to SkyTrain appears to be most pronounced in Surrey, where the vacancy rate for office space without rapid transit is 25 per cent, “yet buildings near the SkyTrain are a hot commodity, with a direct vacancy rate of just 0.4 per cent.”
The difference in vacancy rates is huge.
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This is exciting and timely news for PlaceSpeak. You may recall that we are working towards recreating the Greater Vancouver “Urban Futures Survey”. The Survey was initially conducted in 1973 and again in 1990. The results of the first survey shaped the preparation of “Creating Our Future,” British Columbia’s regional agenda for the 1990s. This lead to the formation of the “Livable Region Strategic Plan” mentioned above. It’s great to see that the Plan is being recognized as a success given our current efforts.