Vancouver developer PCI Group said on 10 September the city’s largest transit-oriented office tower outside downtown, Marine Gateway, had signed up its anchor commercial tenant, natural gas engine & vehicle engineer Westport Innovations.
Marine Gateway has a station on the 4-year-old Canada Line transit network, and the South Vancouver bus loop, which has 7 feeder lines, is also integrated into it. The development, under construction after being approved in 2011, will have 3 towers, 461 apartments (46 for rent), 21,000m² of shops & restaurants and a cinema, and 23,000m² of offices. Another 443 apartments are being built on an adjoining site. The commercial parking ratio is 2/1000ft² (1:47m²) office & retail, or one to every 3-4 staff.
Matt Lowrie commented on the Auckland Transport Blog (which brought it to my attention): “This is the kind of development that Auckland desperately needs more of, dotted around some of our key rail stations. It’s interesting how sophisticated the marketing of transit-oriented developments is in Vancouver.”
In the Price tags blog on urban issues, 6-term Vancouver city councillor and former board member of Metro Vancouver & TransLink, Simon Fraser University city programme director Gordon Price wrote that transit hubs are becoming the centre of business activity in Metro Vancouver: “According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s Vancouver rapid transit office index, business parks across the region are struggling with high vacancy rates as tenants move closer to transit & amenities. Buildings within 0.5km of a rapid transit station have 4.8% vacancy compared to 12.3% for buildings outside of transit, with some markets being higher than 20%.”
A Price tags commenter put a different perspective on it though: “…. the monocultural view of childless, coifed, professional 30-somethings in these [promotional] videos is not only boring & predictable, it is probably ga-ga wishful thinking on the marketers’ & developers’ part. May be more realistic to anticipate overworked worker bees in their sweats & flipflops getting take-out and heading upstairs for the couch.”
Mr Price wrote that the Canada Line’s arrival in 2009 encouraged the council to take innovative approaches to transport & land-use planning along the Cambie corridor: “A site that was once home to 60 jobs will bring more than 1500 permanent office jobs to the area, 650 retail jobs… Marine Gateway will generate 2-million transit trips annually.
“Marine Gateway, a $C370-million project, is the first major development to be approved along the Cambie corridor since the Canada Line opened. Its 2 residential towers sold out in one day, with 95% of buyers citing proximity to transit as their reason for buying.”
Attribution: Auckland Transport Blog, PCI Group, Price tags blog.