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Victoria's 2012 Economic Development Strategy


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#1 Mike K.

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 07:47 AM

Victoria's draft Economic Development Strategy was released by Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin on October 20th can be downloaded at: https://victoria.civ...t.aspx?ID=28900

Mayoral candidate Paul Brown insists that the strategy is mostly positioning by the Mayor on the eve of an election and supports investments that will be costly to Victoria tax payers but benefit the entire metropolitan area. Brown says other municipalities should be at the table.

The plan forecasts 10,000 to 20,000 jobs being created in the City over 15 years. This will require between 2.3 and 4.5 million square feet of commercial space. To imagine what we're talking about, the Atrium building at 800 Yates is 200,000 sq. ft., so City Hall envisions up to 23 such buildings to be built over 15 years? Really?

City Hall also plans to stand behind the redevelopment of the Royal BC Museum lands to help kick off the massive multi-million square foot development spurt. Funny, though, how difficult it has been for developers to build new projects due to heritage issues (never mind the Johnson Street Bridge, the RBCM's 13-storey Fannin Building is an excellent 1960's era building that will be razed) and height restrictions, then all of a sudden City Hall throws heritage preservation out the window and stands behind a proposal on public land to build a large, multi-tower project on museum property that just happens to be one block west of a condo/downtown art gallery proposal many of our current councillors (including Mayor Fortin, who at the time was a councillor) rejected due to height.

How things change, hey?

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#2 aastra

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 09:44 AM

I think you mean 10-20 more Atrium buildings, yes?

#3 Mike K.

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 10:00 AM

Yup, I sure do.

A VV reader who emailed us with a link to the report and some commentary, made several points when going through the report and I've appended the individuals comments below:

Interesting that Greater Victoria Harbour Authority wasn't one of the participants. Other points I see from my first glance at it is that they must still have Mr Floatie Phobia, given the report seeing lack of sewage plant as an "environmental and image concern" (page 40). These planners want $1.5 million to "implement" the plan in order to create bigger tax base, but don't appear to realize that with City of Victoria's sewage plant capital share of at least $100 million, that alone would wipe out a lot of economic development gains - especially as the plant would be at Esquimalt's McLoughlin Point!

Other point I found is that report says that traffic problems are contributing to the growth of suburban business centres at the expense of the City (page 44), but its interesting that the traffic problems actually occur mostly outside City of Victoria - in Saanich, View Royal, Colwood - and its those municipalities that also want to grow their suburban business centres. This must create a conundrum for Victoria!


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