September 29, 2017

Musqueam First Nation Builds "Lelem"

As reported in the Vancouver Courier the Musqueam First Nation is going ahead with the development of 21 acres of  land they own close to the University of British Columbia. This comprehensive community will house 2,500 residents within four 18 storey highrises, townhouses and mid-rise buildings and will be called “Lelem”~”home” in the Musqueam language.  Properties will be lease-hold with 99 year-long leases.A community centre, child care centre, grocery stores, restaurants, public areas and a park will be designed within this new community. The property is bounded by University Boulevard, Acadia Road, Toronto Road and Ortona Avenue and was given to the Musqueam First Nation in 2008 as part of a reconciliation, settlement and benefits agreement with the Province of British Columbia.
The Musqueam First Nation chose a developer for the first phase that has had a lot of experience in Vancouver, Polygon. Polygon is locally owned and operated for nearly 40 years, and the choice of Polygon was because of  “leadership in design and development across all of their projects,” said Chief Wayne Sparrow in a news release.” The history of the Musqueam First Nation and  their art will be a signature interpreted in this development.  The development is expected to take ten years to build out and will create 1,900 jobs.
The Musqueam Capital Corporation will oversee the development of this land and has the former Mayor Michael Harcourt and Gordon Harris who is President and CEO of the  Simon Fraser University Community Trust on their board. The chair of Polygon is Michael Audain who founded and developed the Audain Art Gallery in Whistler and supported the commissioning of the reconciliation pole at the University of British Columbia  which was carved by Haida master carver James Hart and raised on the university’s main mall. This project is historically important as it is the first mixed use multi-family development undertaken by a  First Nations in Metro Vancouver. Fittingly the principles espoused by the Musqueam for this new area focus upon community and belonging ““with a focus on global oneness and value for people and the environment.”
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  1. Glad to see some supply that this City disparately needs! This quote from the Courier article was interesting…
    “The provincial government gave the project the green light last fall after an extensive process that included public meetings. Vancouver city council did not have a say in the project because the endowment lands are the jurisdiction of the provincial government.”
    At least some orders of government are open to the idea that supply can be a solution to the affordability crisis..

    1. More supply is good but a subway is sadly lacking and with Jericho land being developed by the same group with likely similar high density on THE largest development site (around 100 acres) in Vancouver we will see massive traffic gridlock on UBC peninsula for a decade.
      Why is Broadway subway going to Arbutus only?

      1. Thomas, you’re bringing up bad memories of the public meeting over using the Arbutus corridor for the Canada line. I was young and naive, and thought that there could be a spur line along Marine drive out to UBC, running down the middle of a busy street no problem. Then there was the public meeting where the woman stood up and said you can’t have Skytrain in our neighborhood, we are the creme de la creme of Vancouver – doctors, lawyers, and architects.
        So this one we can actually blame on the wealthy.

        1. Well, its an NDP riding now. A real mix of wealthy, poor, students, academia, immigrants, average folks, families etc now in this riding .. much has changed.
          Any development on Jericho lands without a subway (to at least Alma) is VERY poor planning and should not proceed !
          Past Alma an above ground LRT like line is doable along 10th or 4th or even W Broadway to 10th @ Blanca.
          Benefits of line to UBC see here

    2. Agreed.
      There needs to be more infrastructure and the Feds & The Province need to put up some money to run the Millennium Line extension to UBC and not just to Arbutus.
      We need leadership that understands the value of investing in large infrastructure projects….

      1. The developers should put up the money for the subway in exchange for density, Without a subway suitable zoning would be single family.

        1. And how many young families do you know that can afford a Single Family House in those areas?
          The City, Province, and the Feds need to come up with the money.
          The money from increase in density would not come anywhere near close to paying for an extension of the Skytrain along this corridor.

      2. I don”t know any young families who could afford a house OR a condo in those areas. There are better ways to spend federal &provincial transit dollars .

        1. There was at least $3.5B already earmarked by the previous provincial government for the over-engineered Massey bridge project + 40% of the cost of the proposed subway. Just take $1.5B from the Massey line item and shift it to the subway and build the damned thing all the way to Western Canada’s premier university campus where 70,000 people already spend their days in a community that is increasing density with major projects (e.g. Jericho), along arterials and with infill.
          The $2B in change could go towards something like building a new Pattullo bridge with change left over. Take the remaining 1/2 billion and build rental housing, buy a hundred more electric and hybrid buses, provide grants to retrofit houses away from heating with fossil fuels, and build 500 km of dedicated, fully separated commuter bike lanes all over the Metro.
          The priorities have changed since May 9th.

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  3. The more high-density infill between UBC and Arbutus, the more economically viable a Skytrain extension will be.
    Now to replace the Golf Course and Jericho Lands with similar densities.

    1. Yes that might work past Alma but not to Alma as traffic is far too dense. Look at the mess in Edmonton with the surface NAIT line. Terrible, just terrible. Or Calgary’s surface downtown line now being debated to be moved underground due to total destruction of property value and traffic impediments downtown.

      1. The downside of using LRT West of Alma instead of the subway is that you don’t get a one-seat ride from Commercial Broadway (or Coquitlam for that matter) to UBC. The upside is that you could loop it through the UBC campus and run it along 41st Ave. to Joyce Station.

        1. Why ? Train can’t run on ground ? Must be elevated ?
          How much “lighter” is “light” rail than Skytrain technology ?

        2. I believe the upside of seamless rapid transit to / from the campus Via the Broadwsay corridor will far outweigh the beancounter’s harping about the cost. Ridership is bound to be very attractive by eliminating the transfer penalty at Commercial or Arbutus, and induced demand will undoubtedly be spiked by the completion of the rapid transit network and the fabulously efficient connectivity and efficiency it will provide.
          Light rail could indeed be tried from the campus to Metrotown via 41st Ave. However, those who brag about the “low” cost of LRT had better familiarize themselves with the complications of engineering and construction (e.g. moving underground services, expropriating resident’s front yards, etc.). Let’s see some feasibility studies first.

        3. No, Thomas, the Sky in Skytrain doesn’t refer to elevation. It is a technology and design standard. Some sections are elevated. Some are in tunnels. Some are at grade. All are grade separated, and fully automated. Given your frequent attacks on wages, one would expect you to like the automated aspect.
          LRT in this context usually means not fully grade separated, not fully automated, lower speeds, lower capacity. There isn’t a single definition, though.
          So you can’t join an LRT train to a Skytrain, you need a transfer point.

    1. Sounds about right although UBC condo values (also on 99 year leases where I live) are probably a good guideline, now also over $1000/sq ft for new construction but still 10-20% below similar product in say Yaletown or Olympic Village area.

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