West end residents protest densification

Plans to build a 20 story tower in the west end met some resistance yesterday, as local residents held a protest against the proposal.

The rezoning would allow developers to build a 20-storey tower on the site and take advantage of the city’s Short Term Incentives for Rental Housing (STIR) program, which includes incentives such as faster permitting process, parking requirement reductions and increased density of the rental apartments.

“It’s completely out of sync with what works in the neighbourhood,” said Godfrey Tait, a spokesman for the concerned residents. “You could maybe have some mixed-market, family-oriented housing, maybe something that wouldn’t exceed six levels, but certainly not another tower.”

The full article is in the Vancouver Sun.

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Houses are consumed the same way a computer or car is consumed. They are depreciating assets in need of ongoing repair, upkeep and renos to keep them in prime condition. Eventually they are all replaced, gutted and rebuilt or abandoned. Maybe cars and computers don't belong in CPI either?


@Yalie: Okay, but then the CPI should not be used to set monetary policy… Had monetary policy factored in house price inflation, he could never have justified such low rates. Asset bubbles are caused by misallocation of capital. The reason the housing bubble happened in the US, and continues in Canada, is that the interest rate on mortgages was not priced properly for risk (mostly due to securitization in the US, CMHC here). The problem was not low central bank, i.e. riskless, interest rates, but specifically too low rates on mortgages. To control asset bubbles, you stop the misallocation of capital by controlling credit, not by general interest rate policy, which would adversely affect the whole economy. If the Fed had jacked up interest rates to try to control the housing bubble it would have induced a general recesion. The… Read more »


How you could honestly look at the westend skyline and think that a large tower would ruin the place is beyond me. The city planning from a design point of view has as much thought put into it as my 2 year old son commits when stacking blocks.

One more slightly larger block will not make a jot of difference.

What cracks me up about Vancouverite's is their perspective when it comes to protesting. Spending millions of public money on a elitist sports. Fine. Erecting a tall lego block. Get the pitchfork.

Right, I'm off to buy some flowers on my scooter.


http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Canada+housi… Sales of existing homes declined for a second straight month, with a 1.5 per cent month-over-month drop in February on a seasonally adjusted basis. This followed a 3.8 per cent decrease recorded in January. A heavy drop in British Columbia, which coincided with the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler, was partly offset by a robust activity in Toronto. Meanwhile, the number of new listings — an indication that homeowners are looking to capitalize on demand — climbed 2.4 per cent, marking the fifth straight month that housing supply grew. The amount of housing inventory in February stood at 5.2 months, well below where it was a year ago, at 8.8 months, but on par with 2008 levels. "Headline price increases are drawing new supply to the market, and so that's taking some steam out of the market," said… Read more »


Not sure if it was over looked, but RBC released their march report on affordability.

Here's one of their comments on BC:

"While still below their recent cyclical peaks, all RBC measures stand well above long-term averages. Such poor affordability levels represent an element of risk that could weigh heavily on markets when interest rates start rising."

In case you want to take a look.


@patriotz: , mostly I agree, but there is a difference between renting a condo from some specuvestor and renting in an all rental building. For folks who are looking for a stable rental situation in a well run, renter-oriented building, it's helpful to have buildings purpose built for rental as opposed to condos.

Whether that justifies a special city incentive program, I'm not so sure, but to my mind (almost) anything that encourages more construction, more density and more housing stock is good for the city in the long run.


@wealthylandlord: I just have to say more about your rant "wealthylandlord".

Those "sorry ass" renters you speak so disparagingly of are people you WANTED to lease your property…you NEEDED to lease your property….hell, you ADVERTISED for to lease your property!

I find your outburst to be rude and highly juvenile.

On a good note, it also confirms my belief that I am on the right side of this equation.



Mortgage rates, and house prices, do not belong in CPI at all. CPI measures the cost of consumption. Buying a house is not consumption, it’s an investment, i.e. a purchase of capital just like a stock or bond.

Okay, but then the CPI should not be used to set monetary policy. The low US CPI (which excludes house prices) was the justification used by Greenspan to set interest rates at 1% in the early 0's, which directly caused the US house bubble. Had monetary policy factored in house price inflation, he could never have justified such low rates.


oh my….

Vancouver East & West*

New Listings – 99

Back On Market Listings – 0

Price Changes – 33

Sold Listings – 39

Vancouver All Areas*

New Listings – 301

Back On Market Listings – 4

Price Changes – 130

Sold Listings – 127

*Attached & Detached @ 03/15/2010


@wealthylandlord: As a renter (and I think I can speak for most sane renters), I can tell you I would have no problems if my landlord sold my place and the new buyers decided to live in it. That would be how the cookie crumbles…so to speak. Life goes on.

You sound as you if you have a verrry personal issue with one particular renter and for God knows what reason you decided to vent your frustration on a bearish real estate blog.

PS I am glad you are not my landlord. You sound like you have "issues". (I was going to say you sound like a tool, but "issues" sounded kinder…ooops I guess I said it afterall.)



New rental buildings would be of concern to any landlord, especially buildings sponsored by the city (fast tracking development).

It doesn't matter whether a new building is condos or purpose built rentals, the net effect on rental stock is the same. Think about it – a new condo has be bought either by an investor who rents it out or by a former renter, who frees up a rental unit.

It makes no sense at all for the city to have a program fast tracking or otherwise promoting market rentals, for this reason.

No Longer Looking

@wealthylandlord: Sounds like a tenant has asserted their legal rights and now you gotta pay out a few dollars. HAHA That's the law today, buddy. Pay up.


Dear forenting losers. When I sell my investment properties and the new owners want your sorry ass out please shut the fuck up about it and quit your bitching. If you don't like renting then buy or move somewhere else. Thanks.

Your winner (former) landlord.


@Vansanity: One major problem that came to light was the way in which inflation is measured. To think that mortgages carry the same weight to one’s household finances as a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk is ridiculous. Mortgage rates, and house prices, do not belong in CPI at all. CPI measures the cost of consumption. Buying a house is not consumption, it's an investment, i.e. a purchase of capital just like a stock or bond. You don't need to buy a house, ever, to have a place to live. Rents belong in CPI because rents are the cost of consumption of housing. Putting house prices in CPI would also have the absurd effect of causing CPI-linked pensions to fall due to a RE bust, while the cost of actual consumables (i.e. the things we do have to… Read more »


Comparing Vancouver to Paris is like comparing a piece of shit to a piece of cheese, both smell but you'd only want to own one.

'Midtown' Vanshitstain, all two minutes of it !!!!!!! bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha how desperatly pretentious do you have to get before you start trying to lick your own ass because you can't get a date?

Why can't these over mortgaged losers admit that they live here because they either can't afford or aren't quailified to live somewhere nice?

BTW enjoy the Suuny D and the KD by candle light. Teresen just got another rate hike approved.


From the Rolston webpage:

"The iconic Architecture and well crafted interiors provide owners with a sense of pride. Pride in being part of something new, well considered and unique. Pride in having a home within a project that does not look like everybody else’s. "

Wow, where's condohype when we need him? This harkens back to the the heyday of condo lifestyle advertising.


Midtown is so…common….

I'd suggest calling it


…..much closer to reality


Wow…just recieved this 'invite' in my email this morning.. My favorite lines: "Owning your first home is a sign that you've made it; an appreciating asset that is secure and will grow the longer you own it" State/future of the Vancouver Real Estate Market. Can You Buy a Home This Year? Now that the Olympics are over, do you have an interest in the Vancouver housing market? Perhaps you want to buy your first, even second home for security or investment. But what are the housing pricing trends? Is the market too high and about to crash to more Affordable Housing or will we see the start of a real estate buying frenzy? This March 16th, you are invited to a discussion about current housing availability and pricing trends, important whether you are a first-time home owner, or wishing to… Read more »



Well said!

Has it not been a case of the "tail wagging the dog" for a long time in monetary policy despite the claims otherwise?


Re: Rolston video.

I really like when they are pulling the polaroids open from the Leica as I've never seen a polaroid back for one. I should just suspend my disbelief because helmet-less riding on the Granville bridge makes about as much sense.


@Astute Observer: I disagree. I would say that I am EXACTLY their so called target market. And I can't stop laughing at their ad campaign…

silly cub

Yeah, because the target market for the Rolston have shit for brains.


The question I have been pondering is why are the feds moving to stop a housing bubble if there is no housing bubble?

The ony thing I can think of is the Canadian dollar and the manufacturing base in Ontario. The base was shrinking when the dollar got too high so they slashed rates to tank the dollar and try to save the jobs. This worked but it gave us a housing bubble and now the dollar is back up close to parity. If housing colapses then the world will know that our bankers were no smarter than the Americans and our dollar will tank with the housing market saving the manufacturing jobs in Ontario and getting them their majority. Toronto and Vancouver are not conservative stongholds anyway. Just a thought.

Astute Observer

What? All that this commentary is sayign about The Rolston is that these users are simply not in the target market. Vive Le Difference!


I live in and I love the west end. I think it is the best neighborhood in town. But it is nothing like what is shown on the rolston ads… It is quiet, a nice social mix with all the young renters, the old retired and lots of korean and japanese people. It is pretty because they left the trees in the street not like in yaletown. West end is cheap with lots of old school "shitty" groceries stores. There is lots of cheap asian food too. The west end gave you this feeling that even if the buildings are old and not so nice, the people have make it a great place to reside. It is not new, it don t try hard to impress you. It is not this strange mix of yuppies meet hipsters depicted on the… Read more »