British Columbia

Entertainment district for Vancouver's viaducts: city wants feedback

The Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts are being taken down and the land — from the stadiums to Science World — could be redeveloped into an entertainment district.

'It's really going to be a waterfront like we've never seen it in Vancouver'

An artist rendering of Vancouver without the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts. (City of Vancouver)

The city of Vancouver is hosting a launch party to start public consultations on what could be Vancouver's last major waterfront development.

The launch party — featuring a DJ, food trucks and a pop-up bar — is a sample of what the city wants to build on the vacant lands in Northeast False Creek when the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts come down.

Project director Kevin McNaney described an entertainment district along a waterfront promenade with restaurants and retail space.

He said there would also be park space capable of hosting festivals and other events.

"It's really going to be a waterfront like we've never seen it in Vancouver."

Some critics have questioned whether developers will be able to create the 12 to 13 acre green space promised by the city, saying it will be compromised by the presence of encroaching high rise towers.

McNaney disagreed, saying the park would still be "iconic".

"The strength of this area will be that contrast between the urbanity of downtown and this pastoral, wonderful park ... That's the magic."

Construction could begin in 2018

Last fall, Vancouver city council voted to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts and to develop the lands under the viaducts into a mixed use district with retail, residential and park space.

The development's public consultation phase will continue on through next year, and McNaney said a formal plan would go to council by the end of 2017.

Project director Kevin McNaney says that traffic disruption will be kept to a minimum as the city removes the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts.

Construction would begin at the earliest in 2018. The development could take five to ten years to complete.

"We're working on a phased [construction] plan to minimize any traffic and disruption at all," McNaney assured.

The public consultation launch party takes place tonight, September 15, at the Plaza of Nations (777 Pacific Boulevard) from 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. PT.

With files from The Early Edition

To hear the interview, click on the link labelled What's going to happen to False Creek after the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts are removed?


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