Now Victoria’s airport is getting a mall

Plus, the power of underwater pools and Vancouver gets affordable (for some)

Another airport, another mall
On the heels of YVR’s brand-new outlet mall, the Victoria Airport Authority and Vancouver-based developer Omicron announced Thursday they have entered into an agreement to build a new retail centre at YYJ. Sidney Gateway, as it would be called, would comprise 10 buildings over 7.5 acres and could include a grocery story, pharmacy, bank, restaurants—in other words, it’s not another upscale outlet mall. As noted in Omicron’s release, Sidney Gateway wouldn’t just serve locals but also be en route for ferry goers driving between the terminal and Victoria. “This Sidney Gateway project hits all the right marks,” said Peter Laughlin, Vancouver Island director at Omicron, in a release. “It is in keeping with the form and function of Victoria Airport Authority’s master plan pertaining to commercial development.” If all goes as planned, construction would begin in 2016 and take just over a year.

Earth’s power
The results are in from a study led by BC Hydro and Geoscience BC into where B.C. could try its hand at geothermic power—drawing steam from pools of hot water miles below the Earth’s surface—a means of energy popular in countries such as Iceland, Kenya and the Philippines. Currently, B.C. has no geothermal power stations. The study looked at 18 options and crunched numbers for the nine best to determine their economic viability (the study can be found here). One industry group has previously argued geothermal power would be preferable to building the Site C dam.

Affordable housing
Vancouver will be a more affordable place for many low-income residents in just two years, according to a new UBC study, which cites the completion of 358 new social housing rental units by 2018. On average, these apartments, available to the poorest fifth of Vancouver households, will rent at about 25 per cent less than their market value. How? The Vancouver Community Land Trust Foundation is leasing the city-owned land from the City of Vancouver at deeply discounted rates. More here.