In the ongoing discussions regarding the possibility of putting residential housing on the redeveloped Britannia site, there has been much talk about the use of “air parcels” or “air spaces.” Although Planner Andrew Pask admitted at the last GWAC meeting that Council has not formally defined what these terms mean, a general definition might be the erection of usable space above buildings that are specifically designed for a different purpose. In the case of Britannia, this could be housing built above the library or other community facility.
The SPCA office just east of Clark at 7th has similar ideas, as reported in the Vancouver Sun.
“With the land being in “what has become a very sought-after location, there is lots of interest” in seeing how the SPCA can maximize the property, “how we can build what we need and also add a student housing dimension” on the property. We would look to be getting value in those air rights (so that we can build student housing towers) and putting (revenue gained from that) toward our new facility. It’ll go a long way…” Constructing rental units at a deeper discount, as opposed to luxury properties, would return less profit, but help more people struggling with housing affordability.
I am not keen on them using the term “towers” but it is outside my neighbourhood (just) and it would be up to the local community to decide on whether that would be acceptable. But the general idea is, I believe, to be welcomed.
[many thanks to the regular reader and dog-lover who pointed me to this story]