City staff are ready to move on a park nearly 20 years in planning.
Burrard Slopes Park was first discussed in 1993 and 94 to be added to the 5th Avenue and Fir Street area, and over the years the idea has begun to form; the Arbutus Greenway cuts through the block, and the 6th Avenue and Fir Park popped up a few years ago followed by the pollinator garden at 5th and Fir. The two parks aren't currently listed on the city's official list, but are in the guide.
Now the staff is asking council to allocate funds so the project can move forward, allowing the two disconnected areas to become one full, proper, permanent park. Around $41 million in development levies would be moved to the city's property endowment fund, allowing the parks board to begin work on turning the light industrial area into a 2-acre green space.
An additional, estimated $1.6 million will be needed to "deconstruct" the buildings so the site can be "greened."
"This will create a new, larger permanent park near the north end of the Arbutus Corridor, in an area of the City where the Park Board has long planned for park expansion. The permanent park designation is the culmination of a multi decade property assembly," states city administration in a report going to a committee meeting.
In the report city staff note the area has a low number of parks for the population and is a "park deficient neighbourhood."
Currently, the land includes the aforementioned parks land along with light industrial buildings and warehouses. Until recently Aquaventures, a swim school, was located there. They're building a new facility on Fraser Street. The city notes tenants have been told they have until June 30 to move out.
"A future park design process, including public engagement, led by the Park Board will be undertaken to determine the future park concept. Construction of the permanent park will then proceed in the next Capital Plan period (2023 – 2027)," according to the report.