All of the remaining businesses on the south side of the 400 block of West Broadway have either closed in recent weeks or are in the process of moving out.
The city block just north of Vancouver City Hall is framed by Cambie Street to the west, West Broadway to the north, Yukon Street to the east, and a laneway to the south. The entire city block, occupied by three old low-rise commercial buildings, is a property of the City of Vancouver.
The northwest corner is also home to the Canada Line’s Broadway-City Hall Station, which will grow into a major regional transit hub when the Millennium Line’s Broadway Extension turns the station into a major interchange between two SkyTrain lines.
Businesses on the city block include Rosewood Furniture Outlet, Happylin Cafe & Deli, and the longtime A&L Market grocery store.
Daily Hive reached out to the municipal government on whether these business closures on the city-owned property are linked to the subway construction project, which is being managed by the provincial government.
The inquiry was forwarded to the BC Ministry of Transportation, which suggests the business closures are related to the subway. However, they were unable to specifically comment on how exactly the property will be used for the project.
“Discussions with property owners that may potentially be affected by the Broadway Subway Project are currently underway,” reads an email from the Ministry to Daily Hive. “A community office is being established, and further details about the project, community and business engagement, and construction will be shared in the coming weeks and months.”
There are longer-term plans to turn this city block into a major expansion of the Vancouver City Hall campus.
“The future City Hall campus is expected to include public counters and other public spaces, Council chambers, offices and significantly improved public realm,” Danica Djurkovic, the director of facilities planning and development with the City of Vancouver, told Daily Hive earlier this year.
“City-owned property along Broadway is expected to include a mixed-use project that will successfully integrate the Broadway and Cambie transit stations and enhance people movement in this busy intersection.”
A master planning process for this new City Hall campus begins this year.
“We are working toward seamless community engagement in 2019 for both the Broadway Area Plan and City Hall Campus, given the dependencies between the two projects,” continued Djurkovic.
The provincial government launched the bidding process for a general contractor for the $2.8-billion project last month. A contractor is scheduled to be selected in April 2020 to allow for construction to begin later that year for a 2025 opening.
Pre-construction work also began last month; crews are currently in the process of installing trolley poles and wires along West 12th Avenue, Cambie Street, and Macdonald Street to allow for trolley bus routes to be rerouted from portions of West Broadway during the years-long disruptions from subway construction.
While the tunnel will be bored, some localized cut-and-cover construction will be required for the subway stations.