Vancouver eyes new tool for downtown

first_imgThe city of Vancouver is pursuing a “tool” that could help downtown businesses raise funds to fill the service gaps between what the owners want to see and what the city can provide. But much is left to be determined, including how it will be governed, the rate businesses would pay, the services provided and the service area.“As the downtown has grown and evolved over the last several years post-recession, we’ve started to explore what tools might be at our disposal to address the specific needs of the downtown core,” City Manager Eric Holmes said.A downtown improvement area is similar to a business improvement district: a governing body made up of ratepayers — in this instance, business owners — that determines the assessed fee and how the revenue will be spent.“Downtown is changing and that means the management of downtown could possibly change as well and respond to that,” said Teresa Brum, Vancouver’s economic development division manager.In the last five years, 47 new restaurants and bars have opened downtown, and additional restaurants, hotels and apartment units are on the way as development on The Waterfront Vancouver continues.last_img

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