On Monday, the City of Vancouver announced that it had reached a formal agreement with Concord Pacific on plans to deliver 661 units of affordable housing to the False Creek North neighbourhood of the City, in an innovative partnership that also includes BC Housing.

Concord Pacific currently owns six undeveloped sites in False Creek North, with the City of Vancouver holding options to purchase all six sites.

As part of this agreement, the City of Vancouver will receive three sites from Concord Pacific that will be developed with BC Housing into non-market housing, in exchange for the City releasing its purchase options on the other three remaining sites, allowing Concord "unencumbered ownership to develop market housing," the City said.

The three sites the City is waiving its purchase option for are 431 Beach Crescent, 1502 Granville Street, and 900 Pacific Boulevard.

Concord pacific city of vancouver bc housing false creek north 1024x326The six sites in False Creek North owned by Concord Pacific. (City of Vancouver)

Concord Pacific will also provide the City with $110M in cash contributions, which will go towards funding a new street network planned for Northeast False Creek. The three sites Concord is providing to the City have a value of $11M, based on the City's option price that Concord will now waive, for a total of $121M in financial contributions towards False Creek North.

Development details still have to be finalized, but as of now, the plans for the three sites are:

  • 1050 Expo Boulevard: A 29-storey non-market building, with 296 units and a 6.1 FSR;
  • 900 Beatty Street: A 28-storey non-market building, with 288 units, a 7.5 FSR, and a new fire hall and 44-space childcare facility;
  • 450 Pacific Street: A 7-storey non-market building, with 90 units and a 3.5 FSR.

All three sites are currently vacant or are being minimally-used, such as a surface parking lot and a temporary utility shed.

This partnership and the plans for the three projects were first birthed in 2018, with the three parties signing a Memorandum of Understanding, and will deliver 661 units of non-market housing.

The increased density in the area would require amendments to the False Creek North Official Development Plan that was established in 1990 in order to guide the future of the area that served as the Expo 86 site.

As part of that Official Development Plan (ODP), 20% of all residential units in the area being non-market housing was the target goal. A total of 20 sites were identified, with ownership of the sites to be transferred to the City of Vancouver once provincial funding became available.

READ: BC Adds Record 14,546 Rentals In 2022, But Condos Still Won Out

In the 1990s, BC Housing provided funding for six of those sites, delivering a total of 544 units of non-market housing. Eight of the sites earmarked for non-market housing were eventually converted into market housing due to a lack of available provincial funding, with Concord Pacific providing cash-in-lieu payments that went towards other non-market housing in the area.

In 2001, BC Housing then cancelled several non-market housing funding programs, leaving the remaining six sites undeveloped. These six sites are the subject of this new agreement. (One additional site was also secured in a separate transaction, is currently under development, and will deliver 152 non-market units.)

Concord pacific city of vancouver bc housing false creek north 2 1024x722The 20 sites originally identified for non-market housing. (City of Vancouver)

The City of Vancouver will be hosting information sessions about those amendments -- as well as the future of False Creek North -- on Wednesday, February 22 (5 - 8 pm) and Saturday, February 25 (11 am - 2 pm) at the Roundhouse Community Centre. Those interested can also provide comment online.

Following this public engagement period, City Council will formally consider by-law amendments in June, before referring the plan to a public hearing in July. If approved at the public hearing, development and building permit applications are expected to be submitted in late-2023 or early-2024, with construction potentially starting in 2025.

Development Projects