Rona in Play

with 2 comments

Less than one week after the 3 February 2016 news comes out about Lowe’s “friendly $3.2 billion takeover” of Rona, ten separate little pink distant early warning signs have popped up along the Kingsway and Dumfries Street sidewalks to the south and west of the Rona building supply store at 1503 Kingsway.

     See Pink Spot on Sidewalk at Left

     Close-Up of a Pink Spot

City of Vancouver Public VanMap shows the dimensions of the irregular parcel. By rough calculation, the larger of the two 1503 sites amounts to almost 1.5 acres of land.

     VanMap Data for 1503 Kingsway

     Perspective on Parcel Size

Only time will tell whether those pink spots represent site infection by terminal condoitis. If that proves to be the diagnosis, woe betide Vancouver’s first “neighbourhood centre” at Kingway and Knight. And chalk up another serious loss of useful retail in an area that was supposed to become more friendly to walkable shopping — but is doing the opposite. (King Edward Village is a monument already to retail desertification.)

The planning exercise achieved nothing except (1) a dump of King Edward Village onto the Safeway site across the street, separated from the local area process that failed to deliver anything besides (2) a fast mass rezoning of 1577 single-family properties. That ugly history has already been exposed in detail at Eye on Norquay.

Unlike what happened with the second “neighbourhood centre” in Norquay, planners and their local area compradors never specified anything for the Kingsway shopping area around Knight. Pretend planning leaves behind blank slates for vulture developers.

Since the first came before the second, it would seem reasonable to retroject key specs from Norquay down the hill to the west: maximum FSR of 3.8, and maximum height of 16 storeys.

While “Norquay” chewed a piece off the eastern edge of Kensington-Cedar Cottage, Kingsway & Knight is supposed to be the neighborhood’s heart. Let’s hope that a stake has not just been driven through it.

     New Iron Stake at NW Corner of Site

News reports:

Lowe’s offers $3.2B to take over Canadian rival Rona

Lowe’s Cos to buy Canada’s Rona for $3.2 billion in cash to
create home improvement giant


Written by eyeonnorquay

10 February 2016 at 11:25 pm

Posted in News, Photos

2 Responses

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  1. The Rona on Kingsway does not contribute to the community’s walkable neighbourhood. Whatever is developed there will be an imporvement over the giant parking lot facing kingsway. A win-win would be a mixed use development with a new rona/lowe’s as the main retail tenant.


    11 February 2016 at 10:43 am

  2. We can and do walk to that Rona — so sorry, it does contribute now. We don’t and won’t ever walk to the big box Rona on Grandview Highway. It seems very unlikely that Lowe’s would retain any location that is not drive-to big-box.

    Over the past three decades, the stretch of Kingsway from Knight to Earles has shown a history of losing walkable retail (grocery, hardware, variety goods). The disappeared Canadian Tire store at 2220 Kingsway was our area’s single biggest loss since the shut-down of the long-ago Safeway at Kingsway and Knight. So our area is undergoing the opposite of revitalization. The newer retail has proved almost entirely worthless. The single exception is being able to buy cheaper milk and on-sale coke at Shopper’s Drug Mart. Here’s betting they can’t survive on that kind of shopping.

    Misbegotten “planning” just shrugs and grins and in effect says, drive out the existing affordable and useful retail is what we do. But developers and the City of Vancouver rake in the dough. That’s all that matters. That’s our job. (P.S. We lied about that new grocery store at 2300 Kingsway.)


    18 February 2016 at 4:19 pm

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