Maybe, actually, the development absurdity of the year.

An application has come in to build a five-storey commercial building on the northeast corner of West Broadway and Granville Street – identified as the location for the South Granville station on the proposed Broadway line.

To repeat: a five-storey building on top of a subway line.

But that’s not the absurdity. This is: “Also included in the project are six levels of underground parking.”

To repeat again: a five-storey building with six levels of parking. On top of what will be one of the busiest metro stops in the region.



  1. For those of us who haven’t pieced together the sarcasm, why is it absurd? Is it absurd because it’s too small (*only five stories?*) or too big?

    1. Six stories of underground parking where many people won’t need to drive, as it is at a major transit hub.

    2. The absurdity is that this project is more parking than building, in a building that literally has a subway station in it

  2. 5 stories above a metro station when we have an affordability crisis and a climate emergency. It should be 50 stories and no parking.

  3. It’s building in anticipation of a future tower to be above this “placeholder” podium once the Broadway Corridor Plan is complete. Since the station will be there, they can’t demolish the podium building and excavate deeper in future. The building will also have provision for a second elevator core.
    The alternative is to delay development approvals for the site (and possibly the subway station) until the Plan is complete.

    More information is available at the Vancouver Courier article here:

    1. PS – rumours suggest a 40 storey condo tower for the site – which may includes additional parcels to the north.

    2. Guest: You beat me to this by one minute, but you said it better. Not a fan of six levels of parking, but for a much taller building it makes more sense than for a smaller building.

      Something else to think about: the subway station, like the others along Broadway, will have a bike parkade and according to the project team, cycling access. Given local traffic volumes, that implies protected bike lanes. They would make sense along Broadway, especially from Fir (a potential Granville Bridge Connector cycling link to 10th). The Broadway Planning process transportation workshop endorsed including cycling lanes along Broadway, not just here. It is time to start showing more complete streets in the various artist’s conceptions of the future buildings.

  4. @Jeff Leigh, why is it necessary to place bike lanes on Broadway?

    7th Ave AND 10th Ave are already major and heavily used cycle routes. They are also traffic calmed and free of trucks, buses and generally a lot less enraged motorists and pedestrians jaywalking, etc.

    I have never understood this compunction to co-locate everything on the major roadways (also eg: Smithe&Nelson, Marine Dr, N.Van) when there are very adequate alternatives. Hub and others all advocate segregated bikeways.

    I was told more than once (by people who should know better) the rationale was bike lanes had to be visible (ie: in your face) in order to coerce drivers out of their steel boxes. My rational mind begs to differ.

    As for the six floors parking, meh! Just make sure you have enough secure bike parking, maybe some public washrooms and if you insist, some changing facilities. The tower will arrive in due time.

    ps: more than a single entrance/exit on just one corner would really help! See:

    1. Because, Ian, people on bikes are a part of the economy and want access to all of the offices, shops, services and amenities as everybody else. It is impractical when casually searching out commercial areas to ride entirely out of sight from what you are looking for.

      Heavy traffic degrades the human experience on commercial streets. Cyclists do not. Cyclists are more likely to spontaneously stop and take advantage of what the street has to offer – because they easily can. This increases the economic vitality of the businesses that exist there (unless its a muffler shop etc).

      It is not about being in your face. Traffic calmed residential street bikeways are fine if you have a set destination and just want a quieter experience. But they, by definition, discourage cyclists from being active members in the entire community which includes everything the community has to offer.

    2. Ian:

      What Ron said.

      The new subway will take an enormous vehicle traffic load off Broadway. We should decide what to do with that newly available space. Some of it should go to wider sidewalks. Some can be set aside for pick up and drop off areas. Some can be allocated for protected bikeways that bring people on bikes to the shops and restaurants that exist to serve them and other customers.

      The new subway stations all along Broadway will have bike parkades and bike access. If not on Broadway, should we build the protected lanes to access the stations on the north/south arterials? Check with the SG BIA what they think about that. The subway isn’t likely to be taking vehicle traffic off the arterials the same as it is off Broadway.

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