Before I begin, a little urban condo update. Local inventory was squeezed tighter again this week with three pending sales, and two closed sales but nary a new a listing. Good news in the urban condo market in Vancouver.
I drove by the construction site for Al Angelo’s new office – mixed use tower going up on Mill Plain. A tower crane is under construction to support the project. If that crane is fully erected before Kirkland pulls down the crane on the nearly topped out waterfront tower that bears his name, we shall have three tower cranes active downtown again. Angelo has also added a OxBlue project camera on his other Mill Plain tower next door. I like the project cameras, it is fun to watch these urban developments go up, kudos Mr. A.
For those that wonder why I blather on about tower cranes, I mentioned the urban economic status afforded to cities with lots of crane activity in a post on the ‘Couv’ Life a few weeks back, click here. RLB is a firm that actually tracks tower crane activity in several large cities in North America. Seattle has been at the top of that list for three years running. Regarding cranes, there is a distinct likelihood that Vancouver’s downtown will have at least four cranes up simultaneously in 2020 even though Kirkland’s crane is coming down soon. In my nearly 20 years here, I can’t remember that many up at once.
I am not sure they will use a tower crane on the AC Marriott Hotel under construction now at the Terminal One site, they will almost certainly do so for the recently started Columbia project on Block 20 at the waterfront. Assuming both projects end up with a tower crane by spring, The Aria crane and Angelo’s crane will both be up as well for a total of four active cranes Downtown. It is also possible that the Springs Retirement tower and the long awaited Timberhouse could start in 2020 and both of those projects will require a tower crane. Furthering the potential for crane-o-topia in the ‘Couv’ is the Block 2 waterfront office tower Gramor has planned. Since the Murdock is nearly fully leased, that building is primed to go up in Vancouver’s tight office market. That will be a tall structure and certainly require a tower crane as well. How cool would that be? Then there is the Aegis at the Academy project that seems to be nearing the end of the permitting process and that very well could have a tower crane supporting the project as well. I’ll have a difficult time concealing my glee should the ‘Couv’ have more than half a dozen cranes at once Downtown. Geez, I’m having trouble concealing it with just the notion of such an event 🙂
For the Portland based readers of this urban news blog, yes we are well aware that according to RLB, Portland has 30 active cranes and that Vancouver is not going to have that many anytime soon or probably ever, but Vancouver doesn’t need to have 30 cranes to be a roaring success. Vancouver USA is not the service core of the Metro Area. Portland has enough high rises and skyscrapers that all of their current activity will not drastically change the Rip-City skyline. Vancouver on the other hand, is seeing a dramatic change to the skyline that is noticeable even to the layperson unfamiliar with the city. There is an urban evolution occurring in Vancouver USA right now that is transforming the caterpillar into a cosmopolitan butterfly. For those watching across the river on Hayden Island the skyline is completely different and definitely more impressive.
Where our notably smaller but the none-the-less robust urban development succeeds, is cementing the concept of Vancouver as a satellite city to Portland and NOT a suburb of Portland.