Metro Vancouver to look at dwindling supply of industrial land

Land zoned industrial is being converted to residential and commercial uses.

However, the definition of “industrial” is shifting to allow different uses

The supply of industrial land in the Lower Mainland has shrunk by more than 900 acres since 2010, according to a new land inventory completed by the region.
“It surprised me how much land has come out of the industrial zone,” says Metro Vancouver chair Greg Moore. “You can see little pieces here and there as you drive around, but to see the cumulative effect is a little shocking.”
The report states that land previously designated for industry has been converted by municipalities to other uses, including commercial, retail and residential. Limited land supply and higher land prices may start to push industries to other jurisdictions, such as Calgary, depriving Metro Vancouver of jobs, economic activity and tax benefits.
But Moore also noted that the nature of what is considered “industrial” use is shifting away from smokestacks and towards “clean” operations. These new definitions could come into play in discussions around Concord Pacific’s plan for a live/work development on the former Molson brewery site in Kitsilano. The city of Vancouver and the region have zoned the land industrial, and Moore notes that Concord Pacific will have to work hard to develop a plan that gains approval. But he didn’t rule out residential development on the site.
“In light of this report, there’s probably going to be more of an emphasis on maintaining the industrial footprint we already have,” he said. “But if you could reproduce the square footage of industrial use or add to it, why not have a two or three-storey industrial building and put residential above it? You’re also getting the benefit of more housing, which we all know we need in the region, so maybe you can achieve multiple goals on a site like that.” 

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