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Growth in Vancouver

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Story by Katherine Martella

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According to the Northwest Environment Watch, Greater Vancouver is the Northwest’s smart growth leader with six out of ten residents living in compact communities with a population growth rate of 26 percent from 1990 to 2000, and the percentage of the population living in compact communities rising from 52 percent to 62 percent for this same period. This growth, most notably within Vancouver’s downtown core, does not show any signs of slowing down. With an increasing demand to meet today’s real estate market needs, and the increasing popularity of living in a cosmopolitan, world renowned city centre, the construction industry continues to boom. For the past 15 years Greater Vancouver added nearly five new residents an hour as its population swelled from 1.4 million to just over two million. Clark Williams-Derry of the Northwest Environment Watch states: Vancouver is the Pacific Northwest’s uncontested leader.

Vancouver’s metropolitan area consumes less land per person. Its transit system is more widely used, and its downtown renaissance is more profound than any other city in the region. Thousands of new residents have flocked to pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, such as the fashionable high-rise districts in Vancouver’s West End and Yaletown neighborhoods. At the forefront of this growth is Concord Pacific Group. Concord Pacific Group has played a vital role in shaping Vancouver’s urban communities, creating an area that not only maximizes residential living space, but also incorporates Vancouver’s natural beauty.

Their unique approach does not only focus on developing highly stylish liveable spaces, but also focuses on the surroundings, amenities, and public access. Residents are able to enjoy parks, the seawall, and ultimately a vibrant, developed community that serves as a model for urban centres throughout the world. Concord Pacific Group’s success is due in part to effective urban planning in combination with a city that is surrounded by water and mountains, creating a canvas that on its own is truly magnificent. Concord Pacific’s award-winning Roundhouse Neighbourhood is Vancouver’s first waterfront community at Concord Pacific Place.

This neighbourhood incorporates the area’s history and nature in its architecture, and like other neighbourhoods within Concord Pacific Place, the Roundhouse Neighbourhood boasts parks, green space, the seawalk, marinas, public art, childcare centres, a community centre, and the Urban Fare grocery market. Concord Pacific Place has an impressive five parks within its Falsecreek waterfront neighbourhoods, transforming a once industrial area into one of the world’s most beautiful urban centres. Not only are these parks made for the public to enjoy on a daily basis, but they also play host to the International Jazz Festival and the Dragon Boat Festival, merging culture, lifestyle, and community.

Concord Pacific Place has truly set a standard for the Vancouver residential high-rise market, meeting an increasing demand for spaces to satisfy the lifestyle needs of savvy downtown professionals and international investors. Matching Concord Pacific’s lead step-for-step are several other highly successful developers in the Vancouver area. Mohammed Esfahani and Roger Navabi of Qualex Landmark Developments have prided themselves on, and created a reputation for building very unique and award-winning residential spaces. Qualex Landmark’s goal is “to deliver elegant, original, and innovative residences that consistently exceed customer’s expectations.”

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Their most recent projects, the Domus and the Pomaria, are show cases for this philosophy. The Pomaria will offer access to English Bay, Granville Island, and the sea walk, and with features such as sky gardens and impressive vistas of the ocean and city, the Pomaria is sure to be another leader in high-rise design. On the opposite side of the downtown core in the Coal Harbour area, Blue Tree Management is to be congratulated on developing one of Vancouver’s waterfront areas with the utmost care and planning. Through the development of nine residential towers, and the complete re-development of the sea walk, this area has become one of the most prestigious and sought after addresses in the city. Towers on the waterfront are strategically built with a “cascading” design so as to maximize the views of the ocean, mountains, Stanley Park, green space, and water features. Wall Financial Corporation has staked its name in the business district of the downtown core. With the Hudson scheduled for completion in May 2006, it will fill its own niche and offer both living and working spaces for artists and professionals wanting to make their home in downtown Vancouver.

For the past 15 years Greater Vancouver added nearly five new residents an hour as its population swelled from 1.4 million to just over two million.

Polygon Developments, a well-established developer in the Lower Mainland, has also made a significant contribution to the shaping of Vancouver’s urban centre. Projects such as the Bentley, Gallery, and Miro offer downtown residents spaces that are close to amenities and all that the Yaletown area has to offer — fashion, nightlife, and gourmet restaurants. With each developer finding their own nook within the city, residents are given a diversified choice of residential living spaces.

Developers are not only considering traditional residential needs, but are also tapping into the market which has an increasing demand for community, amenities, and aesthetics. The competitiveness of the area has really served to raise the bar, and has raised the standard for new Vancouver projects. We can all be proud of what Vancouver has created front and centre on the world stage. With Vancouver’s increasing need for residential spaces, Intertech Construction Group has played an integral role in this area.

ITC has risen to the top of the construction industry, to become the industry’s leader in building a high quality product. ITC’s commitment to its developers and future residents has provided them with the reputation of being not only an industry leader, but a business leader. Recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies for the past two consecutive years, ITC has proven itself to be an organization committed to growth, to a people-centred culture, and to creating healthy communities. One may ask, “How much growth is too much?

Will Vancouver become a victim of its own success?” With no signs of slowing down, and projects selling out before they are out of the excavation stages, Vancouver’s growth is projected to continue into the unforeseen future. The 2010 Olympics are approaching and Vancouver’s reputation as one of the world’s best places to live remains strong, attracting more visitors, and potentially more residents to the city.

This prospect is an exciting one, as Vancouver residents of today anticipate worldwide recognition for an area we have been proud of for generations.

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