City staff are considering ways to allow for more office space in Vancouver despite the opposition of some residential developers. Options include allowing for taller buildings and expanding the boundaries of the ‘office only’ central business district. City planner director Brent Toderian points out the need to consider what sort of office space is appropriate for the type of Jobs vancouver typically creates:
Skyscraper-type office buildings in Vancouver’s central business district are typically attractive to head offices or high-end professional firms. “There is still a question about whether Vancouver can be that kind of downtown,” said Toderian. “The fundamental question is are we going to attract the jobs to this city that require high buildings.”
Toderian says there won’t be much point in allowing tall office towers in the central business district if there aren’t enough large businesses to occupy them. “We don’t want to kid ourselves by saying we have created capacity simply by allowing more height. We want to make sure we create real capacity.”
Instead, the city might produce more useable office space by allowing more height and density in areas such as Yaletown and Broadway, which tend to serve the “smaller users” that are more typical of the city’s downtown businesses.
Residential developers seeking space for new condos developments are concerned that the city is over-estimating how much office space it will need.
Condo marketer Bob Rennie, who is involved with key projects all over the city, warned in May there is a risk condo prices will skyrocket if the city constricts too much the amount of land available to them.