Re: the City of Richmond OCP 2041 ( another one bites the dust ):
The other day, while driving down Lansdowne Rd, I glanced over at the small retail mall at the South -West corner of Cooney and Lansdowne. This mall is approx. 20 – 25 years old ie relatively new.
In front of the mall is a Re-Development Sign:
Below is the application
2012 600815 000 00 DP (In Circulation)
IBI-HB ARCHITECTS ( IBI GROUP ) has applied to the City of Richmond for permission to develop8380 Lansdowne Road in order to construct a 15 storey mixed-use development (one storey commercial and 131 residential units above).
We need another hi – rise residential tower like we need a hole in the head …or another Olympic Oval. However, if one reviews the city OCP, one can see that even the ” Price Smart ” Mall, around the corner is also re-zoned to accomodate Hi Rises.
In the City vision….they are buying the current “hip” planning vision of creating cities within cities….. “compact villages”. Ie say a block of hi -rise towers with a small commercial sector ie grocery stores, retail outlets within the same block at ground level.aka “Go GAIA” god ..within walking distance ….y’know low carbon footprint etc..
The problem with planners is their vision are imposed for 25 year or longer. In the good old days….it was hard to screw up. They had a lot of unused land, and the basic job entailed residential density and public amenities ,parks ,schools,retail stores etc..
However, what is actually occurring ?
Many new residential Hi Rises in the urban core have retail outlets at the ground floor. Many of them are empty with For Lease signs. There are likely (2) scenarios. If they are leased, the rent is probably way too high. In other cases, I have also read that , given the strata set up for the buildings, the residential tenants are actually paying for much of the utility uses of these ground floor retail units.
In other words, any way you slice it, it is another failed planning model,whereby good retail space with parking is lost forever, as well as the jobs and tax base they provide. Having a low rise mall in amongst Hi Rises is convenient and more visually appealling less imposing.
As this planning model progresses, I can see it forcing residents to shop farther away, which defeats the purpose.
As I said, BAD planning decisions haunt us for decades…and given what is occurring, we ain’t seen nothing yet.