Myths about the Viaducts #2: “a giveaway to developers, no question.” Uh no, not the case

Viaducts myths, #2: this is a giveaway to developers.”

It’s a quick leap for some: the entire discussion about the Viaducts is not about the city, it’s about developers. Not so. This is about benefits for the city, not developers.

Road to the future or remnant of a dead end?

Under the Viaducts proposal, land now under concrete will be used for park or other civic purposes. Concord’s holdings would change shape, but not grow.

The decision to remove the viaducts has major implications for Concord Pacific, but not for the reasons people often think. Concord doesn’t stand to gain a massive amount of land from the viaducts being removed; the change is what the configuration of the land is. Concord already has development rights to that land and has since the 1980s. And as staff highlighted this week to the public, the new configuration is a 13 percent increase in a public park in North false Creek, with a 25 percent gain in waterfront park.

The official development plan for North false Creek already outlines that development will occur on the land owned by Concord. The Viaducts decision does not change whether or not that will happen. What changes is that the city stands to gain access to a sizable amount of public land that can be put towards the public good, particularly the blocks on either side of Main Street between Québec and Gore.

The Concord lands in North False Creek that have not been developed are the last remaining part of a 25 year project dating back to the Expo. They will be developed. The question is how much public benefit can we gain? With the viaducts out of the way, we stand to gain a lot more, both in terms of additional park and in lands on either side of Main that could be used for mixed-used projects, including affordable housing.