stanley-woodvine

I have written before about the work of Stanley Woodvine who writes for the Georgia Straight. Mr.  Woodvine is a homeless writer as well as a graphic artist, and brings a unique perspective to the city.  I wrote about his take of people carrying large sandwich boards in the city, and the scramble for retail positions in a shifting storefront market.

Stanley Woodvine also likes to dumpster dive, and his combination of interest in city events and looking for that elusive item hit paydirt. And his latest find is truly  the stuff of legends~Stanley’s  “pastimes of binning and blogging unexpectedly came together on Friday (June 28) when I pulled actual blueprints for a Granville Street Skytrain station out of a cardboard Dumpster in the 1400 block of West Broadway.”

Unbelievably a set of blueprints for the proposed new Granville Street station were dated May 24, 2019, and stamped by  architectural firm Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership (MCM) and building contractor PCI Developments. The plan showed that the new Broadway subway’s Granville street station will be on the northeast corner of West Broadway and Granville Street where the existing Royal Bank building is at 1489 Broadway.

The drawings themselves detail a five story mixed use building above ground with a curious six floors of parking for 332 vehicles below ground, completely out of keeping with the density of the project.  Mr. Woodvine surmises that the five stories being built above ground may merely be a platform or podium for a tower that will require this parking capacity as part of their development permit. The drawings indicate the location of the “future residential elevator” which confirms Mr. Woodvine’s hunch. He also notes that the future tower may be 40 stories based upon the parking capacity noting that the new 40-storey condo tower at 1335 Howe includes 430 vehicle stalls.

You can take a look at Stanley Woodvine’s blog for the details of his remarkable find. 

While the blueprints detail the location and access to the trains and suggest a five year process to build out, it is disappointing that once again no public washrooms are being planned at this major transit junction, despite the fact a recent TransLink survey indicated that over 70 percent of those surveyed would like them. As Mr. Woodvine surmises:

“Their apparent absence in the Granville station plans may piss off some people but one supposes that TransLink will argue that until the Broadway subway has been in operation for a while, it will not know which of the stations are busy enough to warrant washrooms.”

Given the high use of the Broadway corridor to the University of British Columbia, washrooms are definitely needed. Perhaps TransLink can rethink the need for washrooms as a vital basic human necessity.  I guarantee that 100 percent of the transit using public will need  these facilities at some time.

As former City of Vancouver Councillor Elizabeth Ball indicated in a motion Access to public toilets is a basic human need and is a critical feature of any age-friendly city.”

stanley-woodvine

Images: CBC.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Interesting, although 40 storeys make sense along a new subway at a busy roadway intersection going east, west, north and south. Public washrooms too make sense at this intersection.

    1. Yet the public are fighting even a 23 storey building on the old Denny’s lot, two blocks east at Birch and Broadway.
      40 storeys makes for large wind-blown destruction and falls–a great suicide jump location.

  2. Looks like RBC has been negotiating behind the scenes. It does make ultimate sense to, locate a major transit station at this already-busy hub. The city has also quietly bought up properties immediately to the east of RBC (across the lane), essentially most of the block on the north side of Broadway.

    A seemingly now outdated piece by Kenneth Chan in the Daily Hive on a potential mid-block station entry location on Broadway:

    https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/broadway-subway-granville-station-street-location-vancouver

    Broadway x Granville would make a great site for rentals, but the public sector really needs to get involved building them rather than relying on developers all the time. I am ambivalent about towers, but would agree that 40-stories does seem excessive outside of downtown. Thirty max seems justified given the gravitational pull of a rapid transit station, and considering the low and mid-rise character of nearby South Granville and the slopes.

    Please — don’t pull a Burnaby here: 65-storey towers surrounded by sprawling single-family large lots and low rise rentals is not great urban design.

    1. Why not pulling a “Burnaby”? Prices of new condos and rentals significantly ie 30-40% below Vancouver’s.

      1. Yes, the median prices are lower and more affordable in Burnaby than Vancouver. But the juxtaposition of one-storey bungalows on 5,000 ft2 lots just across the lane from 55+ storey-towers is terrible urban design and super inefficient neighbourhood-scale land use. Stepping down to mid, then low-rise, then townhouses over three or more blocks away from a rapid transit station will give you more units at more appropriate scales and lot more street frontage for all-important commercial-retail instead of cramming it all into a single mall site.

      2. Further, the way land economics evolve illustrates that the land prices of the adjacent open large lots across the lane are likely now seriously jacked to the sky by the sudden appearance of Manhattan-scale densities arising from the open flat mall parking lot next door. If a neighbourhood urban design plan was conducted in addition to the mall rezoning, chances are the per unit land costs of the large lots would be a little less should the mall density be lowered somewhat in anticipation of lower-scale development proceeding outward to a defined limit with many more units. Therein the land cost translated into unit prices would be a little less all around when the lots are subject to rezoning for mid and low rise development beyond the mall. As it stands, a 5,000 ft2 lot next door to Brentwood Mall is now likely outrageously priced even after the market plateaued, and without any consideration of taking the pressure off by using less-dense stepped down development as a safety valve. The pressure to build to similar high-density levels will be extended.

        1. A super tall building allows for the higher units to subsidize the lower units. You dont get that much subsidies in shorter less dense buildings. If are priorities are complete community for all incomes then taller is the way to go. If it’s more about beauty sure then moderate density. My priority is a complete community for all incomes.

          1. A max 30-storey max building on a hill will afford views from three sides of the tower except for the lowest handful of floors. Geography works in favour of views on the brow of Granville Slopes.

            In addition, the surrounding community is already quite supportive with density, mainly in low and mid-rise apartments and generous continuous retail along Granville & Broadway frontages. One needn’t consider soaring skyscrapers here, but towering up to a bit more moderate height than downtown is completely justified given the economic, demographic and network advantages of the neighbourhood, and the ability to incrementally increase densities on side streets.

  3. Translink should put in the washrooms, complete with an attendant who cleans them and replenishes supplies regularly (like hourly) and charge $1 or $2 per use to use them; it’s done all over Europe and the model works well. Clean, convenient facilities. What a concept! People will be grateful. Just do it.

  4. Not allowed to charge for the toilets. One of the first piece of legislation proudly introduced by the Barrett NDP government many decades ago.

    1. Why would CO V s Green???? council require a 332 car parking lot above a subway station—– or even allow it- —- The station should have access from all 4 corners

Leave a Reply to Alex Botta Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *