Property values in Mount Pleasant industrial zone jump after city confirms role as jobs hub

Why did the biggest jump in city property values — 30 percent in a single year — occur in the Mount Pleasant light industrial area bounded by Broadway, Cambie, Main and False Creek?

“It could be a new demand for light industrial in the city,” says Andy Yan, of Bing Thom Architects, who produced a visual map of property value changes from the new assessment roll. “Or it could be speculation.”

Yan called for quick action to end speculation and to protect the area for small business, auto repair and the other countless “back of shop” industrial uses that already support about 8,000 jobs.

But council has already acted.

A little-noticed public hearing Feb. 5, 2013, saw council approval for changes to the area zoning to reinforce its job-generating role, prohibit residential development, allow more flexible office use and rationalize parking, all within current building heights and overall density limits.

The bylaw changes were part of a series of reforms undertaken by the Vision council to expand potential art and cultural space in the city and to protect job space.

As a result of these changes, the industrial land available for art and cultural use rose from 70 acres to 1300 acres, simply as the result of bylaw updating.

The result in Mount Pleasant: the new certainty created by the decisions seems to be increasing demand for space in this strategic area, with property values rising as a result.