Posted on October 6, 2015
The Viaducts: what does park land cost downtown? For Emery Barnes Park it was about $11 million an acre
City staff estimate removal and replacement of the Georgia and Dunmuir Viaducts can ultimately be financed with development revenues, but what would it cost to buy the three acres of park space the project would generate, if such land was available?
Maybe the experience of building Emery Barnes Park in Yaletown gives a clue. Purchase of the necessary land took $22 million over more than a decade, and was completed in 2009. That’s about $11 million an acre.
What would the three acres released by the Viaducts project cost in today’s dollars? I’ll leave that to land economists, keeping in mind that the revised False Creek park would be 13 percent larger than possible with the Viaducts and have more than half of its area on waterfront.
Added to the $50 million to $65 million that would necessary to do a seismic upgrade on the Viaducts and the cost of replacement comes into focus. The benefits are real and substantial.