The City of Vancouver has been deliberating and consulting with planners and residents for years as to what Granville Street should look like. The city has done a lot already for making it a thriving entertainment zone. After years of consultation the city is proceeding with a $11 million face lift.
The downside to this redevelopment is that many stores will have to relocate elsewhere as rents are getting out of hand, thus reducing the number of unique stores on the strip. Also the 25 cent peep shows, what will become of them?
I’ve noticed this week that they have cut down the trees along Granville Street (don’t worry treehuggers they will be replacing them). The city will be replanting new trees that mitigate the impact trees have on store fronts and signage. I kind of liked the treeless Granville as it heightens the commercial/entertainment aspect of the street, it creates more of a buzz to our premier entertainment district. At night the neon signs that adorn the street appear to be more vibrant. For that reason I think it would be better if stretches of Granville Street were treeless but that won’t happen, this is Vancouver after all.
Just to provide some perspective here is a photo of a treeless Granville Street from Fred Herzog at Equinoxgallery.com. It’s an oldie but a goodie.
Some of the elements of the redesign that I’m excited about include:
- The proposed civic events place : Something Vancouver has been lacking and hopefully this will liven up the place. Preliminary plans include a large screeen (temporary or permanent) either on the ugly Sears building or across the street from it. Rumour has it the Sears building will be torn down or given a major facelift. If any building needs a makeover in Vancouver its that one.
- The street lighting is simply amazing. This is quite significant for Vancouver as usually the NIMBY’s would find a way to squash this idea. However, seeing that not many people live on Granville, the city was able to get this approved with very few complaints.
- New Street furniture will be installed throughout.
There is plenty more to see at the COV website. To see all the poster boards that were displayed earlier this year, click here. Look for this redevelopment to be complete just before the Olympics.