House values skyrocket in Vancouver's Cambie corridor
Six months after Vancouver City Council approved a plan to transform the Cambie Street corridor, homes in the area have nearly tripled in value and some residents fear development will ruin the neighbourhood.
Last May the council passed a plan to bring 15,000 more people into the Cambie Street corridor through mid-rise development.
Then last month a block of 10 homes along Cambie Street near 41st Avenue sold for $3.4 million each — nearly three times their previously assessed value.
Neighbours say they're growing tired of being pressured to sell by developers and real estate agents.
Janice Douglas says she expects a six-storey building will soon be overlooking her single family home.
"We've got people looking in our back yard, looking in our bedroom, and we will never see the trees again — nor will we have any more sunshine," Douglas told CBC News.
Many residents don't want to move and feel ignored by the city as developers move in, looking to tear down the single family homes, she says.
"People come here for the beauty. Well the beauty is rapidly disappearing," said Douglas.
Canada Line driving changes
City planner Brent Toderian says he appreciates the concerns and the city is trying to cool down land speculation in the neighbourhood.
Toderian says the city has been meeting with developers and realtors to discuss land transactions after getting wind of some very high deals negotiated in the months after the Cambie corridor plan was approved.
He says the final prices didn't appear to have factored in community amenity contributions the city negotiates with developers in order to pay for infrastructure and services associated with increased density
"People were overpaying for land — thus we sent messages out into the marketplace to say you're going to have to adhere to the expectation of the plan if you wish to succeed in development."
But he says having a new rapid transit line running through the neighbourhood means changes are coming and the city's plan has the community's support.
"Canada Line is a change maker and so yes — there will be some folks, and to my ear they are the minority — but there are going to be some folks that are unhappy about that," he said.
"But most people recognize the logic and inevitability of transformation once you've put in a piece of infrastructure like Canada Line. The vast majority of people we heard from were very positive about the plan."
Toderian expects construction along the corridor to begin in late 2012.
The Cambie corridor plan allows buildings up to 12 storeys in height, and leaves room for them to go even higher around the Oakridge Mall near 41st Avenue and at the southern end of Cambie Street near Marine Drive.
Preliminary plans for the 825,000-square-foot Marine Gateway Project next to the Marine Drive Canada Line station have already received city approval. It will include two residential towers with more than 400 units as well as a cinema, food and drug stores.