What’s an leisure district? What makes a vibrant leisure district?
Essentially the most profitable leisure districts around the globe are related to having a big high-density cluster of economic companies, particularly leisure and efficiency venues, retail, eating places, bars, and accommodations.
All of those companies complement and assist one another, as they additional set up the leisure district as a vacation spot by means of their synergies. Attendees of a live performance at a theatre, for instance, are more likely to assist neighbouring eating places and bars earlier than and after the occasion.
To make sure there are minimal conflicts with these companies and the general public occasions and activations that spill out into the road, it’s a finest observe to have non-competing makes use of in and across the leisure district.
One different use present in profitable leisure districts is workplace area, significantly within the higher ranges, whereas the decrease ranges are devoted to the venues and institutions. Workplace makes use of usually don’t compete with leisure and different industrial companies, and in information they serve to assist the companies through the daytime, resembling workplace staff filling eating places for lunch, after work social gatherings, and enterprise conferences.
Residential area doesn’t match into the image for what makes a vibrant leisure district given the conflicts of noise from music and crowds, the longer operational hours of companies, and the surplus mild that animates the streetscape to create a novel sense of place.
Furthermore, inserting residential makes use of inside or close to an leisure district is solely poor kind for livability, particularly for low-income and susceptible individuals on the street to restoration.
Over the previous three a long time, we now have seen these conflicts from individuals transferring into new residential buildings close to the Granville Leisure District (GED), solely then to complain in regards to the noise and light-weight coming from decades-old institutions. Some relaxations in metropolis insurance policies exist for the GED and its companies, however any additional loosening runs into the difficulty of opposition from space residents, stopping the leisure district from being its true potential serving native and regional residents and vacationers.
The GED can be one-of-a-kind within the area, stretching simply 5 metropolis blocks on either side of Granville Road south of Robson Road. In distinction, residential uses occupy about 42% of the land in the city of Vancouver, with 81% occupied by single-detached and duplex properties and the remaining 19% with all different constructing kinds.
So until the Metropolis of Vancouver doesn’t worth the GED, the area’s major leisure district, it turns into unclear why they might suggest to switch the realm’s zoning to accommodate extra residential makes use of.
Later in the present day, metropolis council is predicted to enter right into a public listening to on metropolis workers’s proposal to permit for the consideration of extra rental housing and social housing inside Area K3 — a two-block stretch of Granville Road, between Helmcken Road and Drake Road.
There’s an apparent want for extra inexpensive housing within the metropolis, however does it actually must be within the GED?
Downtown Vancouver has already misplaced a lot of its retail streets to 100% residential developments, particularly Richards and Seymour streets, the place there have been beforehand complementary nightlife companies that acted as a shoulder to the GED.
There’s additionally already an especially excessive focus of SROs, supportive housing, and social housing items inside and close to the GED. Based mostly on one account, there are over 2,000 units spread over Downtown South, alongside Richards, Seymour, Helmcken, Howe, Hornby, and Granville streets.
The biggest cluster is discovered on Granville Road, the place there are a minimum of 9 properties with a mixed whole of about 600 items, together with final yr’s conversion of the 110-room Howard Johnson resort at 1176 Granville Road into supportive housing. This resort property will finally be redeveloped by BC Housing into a brand new everlasting inexpensive housing constructing.
The amendments to Space K3 cowl all properties, however the modifications are meant to right away catalyze the event of three vacant mid-block properties — 1176 Granville Road, 1221 Granville Road, and 1250 Granville Road — presently used as floor parking. The lot sizes of those properties accompanied with the density allowances may doubtlessly add a whole lot of supportive housing and social housing items to the GED.
However there are alternatives so as to add inexpensive housing elsewhere, if obstacles in metropolis insurance policies didn’t exist.
About one metropolis block to the east of the GED at 508 Drake Street, the southwest nook of the intersection of Drake Road and Richards Road, a non secular not-for-profit group is proposing to redevelop the Ismaili Community Centre and Jamatkhana into a 409-ft-tall, 40-storey tower with about 200 units of social housing.
If it weren’t for a mountain view cone emanating from the South False Creek seawall, this tower may doubtlessly present double the variety of social housing items, probably nearly equal to the variety of items that may be generated on the three vacant websites on Granville Road. The tower flooring plates are compelled to be triangular in form — half the scale of the bottom — to keep away from shaving barely into the protected mountain view.
Whereas 508 Drake Road will add to the focus of social housing items in Downtown South, on the very least it won’t be immediately on the GED.
There’s an apparent must diversify the GED as a key element of its revitalization, however taking away potential industrial and financial growth area for any housing is counterproductive to town and area’s wide selection of wants.
These properties on the southern finish of the GED could be higher reserved as future growth websites for brand new low-to-mid tier accommodations, changing a number of the eradicated lodging capability from BC Housing’s acquisitions of older low-end resort properties over the previous yr. An incapability to exchange this lodging provide within the metropolis centre could be detrimental to the eventual rebound within the area’s important tourism trade.