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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Playoff Hockey and Entertainment District Development

By Michael Farrell (Vancouver)

I drafted this blog to compliment Walsh Mannas’ Entertainment Centred Development Taking Off in Canada. As noted by Mr. Mannas, the Calgary Flames did not make the NHL Playoffs and I decided to wait until the Vancouver Canucks (with a commanding 2-0 series lead in Round One at the time) advanced to the Second Round by defeating the Chicago Blackhawks before posting the blog so that I could highlight their success to my colleagues in both cities. I did not realize I would have to wait nine days and endure Game 7 overtime to finally make my post! So, without further delay…

Vancouver has similar redevelopment interest in and around its sporting venues, including Rogers Area, home of the Vancouver Canucks and BC Place which will be home to the BC Lions (CFL) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS).

BC Place is currently undergoing a $565 million dollar renovation which will include a new retractable roof, new seating, seismic upgrades, and a whole host of other changes which are detailed in CTV’s An inside look at BC Place renovations. PavCo, the Crown Corporation that operates BC Place on behalf of the Province of British Columbia, is working to further add to the entertainment experience in and around the stadium by developing adjacent lands. The plans include relocating the Edgewater Casino, owned and operated by Paragon Gaming of Las Vegas, into a 1.2 million square foot development which will also feature two hotels with approximately 650 hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, spa, and convention space.

Aquilini Group, the owner of the Vancouver Canucks as well as Rogers Arena, has received development approval to build a 22 storey office tower on vacant land adjacent to the area. They also hope to build a new practice facility for the Canuck’s which will double as a public arena when not utilized by the city’s NHL Team.

Concord Pacific, the Hong Kong based developer that has been the major force behind the redevelopment of Vancouver’s False Creek Waterfront since the late 1980’s, is working on plans to build out the final stage of Concord Pacific Place which just happens to be right across from BC Place and Rogers arena. Named Concord 2020, the final stage will include several residential towers and add thousands of residents to the area.

Could a successful playoff run help attract additional development to the area?

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