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October 27, 2017 8:28 pm

City Wants Your Thoughts on Downtown Housing

Thursday, November 3, 2016 @ 5:59 AM

Prince George, B.C.-  Time is running out to let  the City’s Economic Development Department  know  how you feel about housing in the downtown  core.Housing  options in the downtown  was a frequent theme  at the recent  TalkTober  community  engagement sessions  hosted by the City  at various locations in  Prince George.  ” We are trying to  gather information we can pass on to developers and build a case for people  who want to live  downtown” says the City of  Prince George Economic Development Manager Melissa Barcellos.

Housing  in the downtown core has been on the city’s wish list  for  a number of years and a key component to  revitalization says Barcellos “We believe having more people live downtown will impact the sales at stores, restaurants and coffee shops and help to attract more businesses to the area.”

Increased housing in the  area  is also  viewed as a deterrent to crime “Even the perception of safety,  if there are more people around, more eyes or witnesses if something happens,  or If you’re  the only person walking down the street  sometimes you feel uncomfortable, regardless of whether or not there is a safety issue.”

During TalkTober events,  Barcellos says   they received  mixed feedback, from those who would like to live in the downtown, and those  who  don’t, “But what the survey  is really for, is if they don’t want to live downtown,  it will tell us why  and if they do want to,  it will tell us  what they would require downtown.  From a developer’s perspective, they want to know that if they build it, people will come, not just assume that if they build it people will come.”

She says there has been a repeated call for increased student housing in the downtown core “We have found  over the  years and research that we have done that the younger generation  is  the one that really wants to live  downtown where the nightlife  is , where the restaurants are and where things are within walking distance.  Students seems to be a pretty good target for that.”

The City has developed  incentives to attract  developers to build multi-use  complexes with  commercial on the ground floor and housing  on the upper floor  or floors as the case may be.  The City offers a $10,000 per door for residential, as well as a  10 year  tax abatement on the municipal portion of  property taxes.

There is an online survey available to speak  your mind on downtown housing needs .  That survey will only be available  until 5 pm Friday, November 4th .  The survey can be accessed  by clicking here.



It all boils down to dealing with the big property owners of downtown. When you are in constant battles with Novak/Majestic and the big stakeholders all the time. than how are you going to change the face of downtown.

    I agree with abcdefg. I watch the City minutes. I haven’t seen any battles between any of the stakeholders and the City. Mayor and council and City staff have been doing a very good job of engaging the public and stakeholders. I think you may be a bit out of line suggesting otherwise. If you have some evidence, please share. If not, let’s give the City some credit. Their efforts have significantly improved the downtown over the last ten years.

I agree with Melissa Barcellos. The more people living in the downtown, the safer it will become. These are the people that will keep our businesses alive. They will visit the restaurants and browse/shop the downtown.

I am not sure what constant battles with novak/majestic is all about. Would you care to share some details?

Some-one had an investment; a hundred plus doors; the City just put the Connaught Inn out of business; because the police were called, or is it because the building is forty plus years old, 95% of the buildings east of Hi-way 97 to the rivers; that whole City core is forty plus years old. Looks like they don’t meet 2016 building regulations.

    95% of the buildings east of Foothills are 40+ years old as well.

“We have found over the years and research that we have done that the younger generation is the one that really wants to live downtown where the nightlife is , where the restaurants are and where things are within walking distance. Students seems to be a pretty good target for that.”

“Over the years and research” taking a heck of a long time to bring that information out. lol

This city needs to get the nightlife back into the city. If housing is for mainly students then the majority would not be from the city itself would they?

So will much of the housing be rental units? Students can’t afford to pay over a grand a month unless they can share somehow.

As for seniors they too are looking at cost effective housing.

Just my opinion, but until the city gets serious about making the downtown a place that people want to spend time in, outside of normal working hours, there is no point trying to get people to live there.

Places where people live downtown have other things going for them than office buildings and restaurants. They have most shopping needs covered, entertainment options, safety, places to relax and take in the sights, attractive surroundings, etc.

Work on improving those things first, then worry about housing. Even if they don’t attract people to live downtown, they will still benefit the city.

Maybe make council and mayor live downtown for the rest of their term and see if their ideas change?

    LOL Just about choked on my water. lol

What about the new condo project announced in oct 2015??? Six story building was promised, with 36 units – supposed to be located at 6th and Quebec. Oh wait, I know….one of pg’s illustrious realtors was involved.

I wouldn’t want to work downtown let alone live there. With all the wallet gouging going on for parking, just imagine what you’d spend per year on parking.
They build all housing they want, but I doubt the amount of parking spots will increase. Maybe underground parking? Maybe just a dream.

    Most of the area around George is in the flood plain and has a water table only feet below the surface. Most buildings can’t get flood insurance in that area and with electrical rooms and such in the basement… only thing that will ever go in for substantial buildings along that stretch is government buildings without underground parking.

I think the smell is too much for the downtown area east of Victoria especially. I can not see how anyone would ever live there willingly. Its a commercial and government services district… maybe one day an entertainment district, but will likely never amount to much more than that.

PG has so much potential outside of the downtown that if ever we could get the ball rolling the rising tide would rise all ships including the downtown. The areas around Pine Center, the University, Edgewood, and Cranbrook Hill Crest… fantastic areas that one day will be world class.

I think PG should look at Ospika as the central spoke of the city as its main thoroughfare and then plan growth around that to maximize the potential.

I think if Cranbrook hill was developed it would change PG significantly in our outlook. The vista’s of city lights would create the feel of a much larger city and we would become a city that surpasses a visitors expectations, rather than letting down ones expectations as our downtown focus now ensures.

I think the best development for the city would be if we could have highrise hotels, condo’s, rentals, and retail entertainment and the urban life on all four corners of the highway 16&97 intersection.

It wouldn’t take much to remove the whole hill to the Northeast of the intersection of 16&97; and then move it all across the road to the old slough area by the ball diamonds kitty corner to the casino and across from Pine Center. Put the radio towers on the top of a highrise condo (where one could also have underground parking). Then when people drive into PG they come to our version of a Times Square kind of central location to everything… and build out from there with good infrastructure and good air quality in place.

    A Trump tower, a 80, 000 football stadium and oh ya. Connected by subway. And a launch pad for spacecraft. What the hell.

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