March 11, 2014

The Other Side of Beatty Street

Glad to see the ‘Beatty Bookend’ discussion has legs.  But there’s also another angle on the west side of the street too.

Here may be one of the best opportunities for redevelopment in Downtown Vancouver:



It’s the EasyPark parkade at Pender and Beatty – hence owned by the City of Vancouver.  It takes up a very attractive piece of real-estate with a less than attractive piece of architecture.



And since it’s located just east of Vancouver Community College, which would likely desire to redevelop their even more attractive site, it’s an opportunity to rethink this whole section of Crosstown – certainly for a better use than storing cars in a less than salubrious place.

Even EasyPark, the manager of the garage, I imagine is thinking of how it could take advantage of this opportunity, since I doubt the parkade is one of its more profitable, or even necessary, assets. (How about that, Bob Ransford?)

What better things could we do?

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  1. My hope is that automatic parking structures that can really pack the cars in will replace underground what parking these parkades provide. They are an absolute urban buzz kill. The Bay Parkade and the one on Cordovo next to Harbour Centre are huge. Real block busters. I have a nasty, ugly one across the street from by office on Hornby. Not as big, but just brutal for the street.

    (I only just learned that “parkade” is a canadianism. Other people call them multi-story parking structures or garages for short.)

  2. How about a mixed use building of 50+ floors ? Retail on bottom, then 2-5 floors of office, then 5-12 floors of social / subsidized housing then 40+ market housing on top

  3. With the scale of the surrounding buildings, I wonder if a 5-10 storey structure would be considered a profitable venture by any developer. Since any future building would be bookending the north west corner of Beatty st., it would make sense to build something a little taller than anything else there currently, but I worry that any high-rise would be out of scale and even out of context on that section of Beatty.

    Moreover, (and while this is a little petty) the current views out of some of the mid-rises along the east side of Beatty st. are amazing, but if a high-rise was to rise where the parkade currently is, the view may be lost. Having said that, the structures on the west side of Beatty aren’t as cohesive in scale and design as the structures on the east are, so a taller building may be appropriate.

  4. I’ve always found the VCC building sucks the little life the area has, especially outside school hours. The parkade size is obviously much smaller then VCC but perhaps by building up, VCC could be relocated to that site. The VCC composing of a whole block would bring in sizeable dollars from a developer. The city could make some money selling it’s site, VCC could end up with a new modernized campus, built with the money from the sale of their existing site and the citizens end up with a more interesting neighborhood to call home.