Short Park Redevelopment
to local lore, it
allegedly began in 1997 when Mayor Royce Pollard was pushed by an
angry transient who told him to 'get out of the park'. If you
know Royce, you can only imagine how that went!
And so ushered
in the era of reclaiming Vancouver's downtown for the public.
Esther Short Park is the oldest public square in the Northwest and is now
the shining gem in the rejuvenated
Vancouver urban center. It's four square blocks have been
completely refurbished and feature a farmer's market in the summer
as well as over 30 concerts a year in the park.
ten years hundreds of millions of dollars poured into the adjacent
blocks surrounding the square. The Vancouver Center, Heritage
Place Condos, Esther Short Commons, The Hilton Convention
Center and The Columbian Newspaper Buildings have all sprouted up
around the park. The city has plans for a large project on the
North East corner of the park for a performing arts center and two
high rise mixed use buildings. Love him or hate him, Mayor
Pollard has done a fantastic job overseeing the
redevelopment of the downtown area. I disagree with him on
some issues but we could not have asked for a better guy for this
job. Vancouver is truly blessed to have this kind of money
rolling into the city. All told you will read about projects
that are very likely to see
completion that total in excess of one
billion dollars over the next three to four years. Wow.
aerial photos here show Esther Short Park and the
surrounding area. The Columbian Building which
opened this year and the proposed performing arts complex with mixed
use high rises. Just ten years ago this 4 block park was a
destitute wasteland filled with transients, hookers and drug
dealers. Nothing like half a billion dollars to clean up the
With the economy in recession some of
the projects have been put on hold for a year or two. Most of
the Esther Short area projects have already been completed.
The 4th tower in the Vancouver Center is on hold for the time being.
This fantastic restoration of a
formerly dilapidated area shows that local government can actually
get it right from time to time. Kudos, Mr. Mayor!