This video shows the past, present, and future of the Pacific Palisades rental conversion project on Robson Street in Vancouver’s West End (4 minutes). Until recently, the buildings were operating as a hotel but soon the conversion to rental units will be completed. West End Neighbours supported this rezoning when it went to City Council months ago. It shows an alternative way to create rental units, and an environmentally sustainable approach to re-use existing buildings. When it opens, it will provide 234 rental suites at no cost to taxpayers. Project website: http://www.pacificpalisades.ca/
These will be one-bedroom units (dishwasher, but no in-suite laundry) starting at $1500 a month. Parking and storage lockers are available at an additional charge.
We contrast this re-use approach with the City’s STIR program which gave incentives to developers to create potentially expensive market rental apartments, and has resulted in considerable disruptions and controversy in the West End. Given that market rents for STIR units are likely to be in the same price range ($1500 per month and up) for a one bedroom, it’s questionable whether this disruption is a fair trade-off.