Metro Vancouver’s “blueprint for the future” of urban development

By Steve Randall

New urban enclaves near existing transit links are helping to answer supply issues for Metro Vancouver as housing demand rises.

Avison Young has published a new report called t “Future Forward: The Rise of Urban Enclaves in Metro Vancouver” which highlights how, as land prices have risen and the availability of development sites declined, investor interest has grown exponentially in the redevelopment of typical low-rise shopping centres and the adjacent surface parking lots that form a substantial part of most traditional car-centred regional malls.

These mixed-use communities house thousands of residents and offer extensive experiential-retail opportunities, community amenities and entertainment and hospitality options – all of which will be accessible via existing transit lines.

“These urban enclaves represent the beacons of density called for by city planners, progressive politicians and transit advocates alike,” comments Andrew Petrozzi, Principal and Practice Leader, Research (BC), from Avison Young’s Vancouver office. “These future communities serve as examples of a regional approach to planning that, for decades, was absent from the public discourse and now provides the blueprint for a future that can accommodate not only population growth, but economic and cultural development as well.”

Core markets such as Vancouver and Burnaby were often the first communities where developers/investors acquired malls with an eye to more than retailing, but the pattern has spread across Metro Vancouver and British Columbia.

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