Broadway Subway Construction: Business Help Wanted

Businesses affected by the construction of Vancouver’s Broadway subway may soon be eligible for funding from the city.

City councilors voted unanimously last week for a motion to provide such relief at their Standing Committee on City Finance and Services meeting last week.

Suggested by Count. Colleen Hardwick, the motion instructs city officials to “explore options to provide assistance to commercial properties affected in the ‘cut and cover’ locations along the Broadway Subway corridor,” citing specifically a program from the City of Montreal that offers up to $40,000 per year. years of traders suffering revenue losses related to major construction projects.

The motion also drives the possibility of real estate tax cuts for affected businesses as an option for staff to consider.

Construction of the Broadway Subway has disrupted the activities of merchants and commercial operators along the Broadway corridor. “The loss of businesses has had a major impact on the livelihoods of both property owners and tenants of commercial space along the Broadway corridor.”

While the Broadway subway is being built using drills, rather than the full “cut-and-cover” method used to build the Canada Line ahead of the 2010 Olympics, the movement notes that some sections are still require the more disruptive method.

The construction of Canada Line sparked lawsuits and forced many businesses to close due to lost revenue.

More than a decade later, businesses along the Broadway corridor have complained about the loss of parking and pedestrian traffic during construction, and the motion says that “restrictive measures have not been effective in compensating for business losses.”

In a statement on Twitter last week, the BC branch of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business praised Hardwick and the rest of the council for approving the motion.

“Hopefully a relief package with concrete measures will be adopted soon as we continue to hear from entrepreneurs who are suffering revenue losses and a lack of customers being displaced by the Broadway construction,” the federation said.

The CFIB also called on the provincial government to implement a standard construction impact mitigation policy for provincially funded projects such as the Broadway subway.

The $2.8 billion project will extend the SkyTrain Millennium Line from VCC Clark Station to Arbutus Street. Currently slated for completion in 2025, the 5.7-kilometer route takes passengers from one end to the other in just 11 minutes.