Shane Woodford | Email news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Vancouver is looking at signing a long term lease with the owners of the Canucks to build an underground parking lot next to Rogers arena.
Councillor Geoff Meggs says if approved a five story underground parking lot will be built adjacent to Rogers arena.
"The area underneath the old alignment of Georgia Street, I think it is, be made available, the underground portion, to create a parking garage. So the city is leasing that underground space for long term for about 1.2 million dollars."
Meggs says it would be a long term lease worth $1.2 million signed with a company owned by the Aquilini's, Pacific Arena Incorporated.
"The city is getting nothing for it now it is a bunch of soil underneath a street and what the real estate staff are charged with doing is analyzing it and if it is made available on a long term basis to Rogers Arena what would lease payment look like if we were prepared to sell it outright they have come up with that calculation and we rely on their professional standards to do that."
Meggs says the underground parking facility will work with or without the Georgia street viaducts.
"It is hard by the edge of Rogers Arena so I don't think it is available for development for a different purpose what they are doing is leasing the area underneath the street alignment which is also not available for street use and there is no impact here on the viaducts whether they stay or go, they could stay or go on this arrangement but the city would achieve revenue for what is now soil under a street."
A Vancouver NPA city councillor has a lot of unanswered questions over what he calls a discount deal to hand the owners of the Canucks a parkade.
George Affleck wants to know how much the city would have gained financially from building and operating the five storey underground parking lot next to Rogers arena.
"The question obviously I have is this is a big chunk of land and in the report I don't see any determination of if we were to develop that land and turn it into a parking lot what kind of revenue potential would it be there. To rent it out for a thousand dollars a month for 99 years that seems very cheap for city property and those are questions I will be asking."
Affleck says he also doesn't understand why the parking issue wasn't addressed earlier in other development deals with the Aquilini's.
"What I don't understand is we approved several significant developments in that neighbourhood with Aquilini, what are the parking parameters within those buildings? Could we have not simply have put the parking in those developments as part of those developments? There is many questions that I have."
The report goes before council tomorrow.