Food for Thought: Intensification

"Vancouver is being marketed as the source for urban ideas about intensification.

While property values may be peculiarly high, it is still to the point that a so-called townhouse in a tower podium facing parkland — that all urban designers are shown as examples of what can be achieved — costs $3 million. A similarly sized condo apartment in the tower above is even more. These are two or three-bedroom units.

Visiting a few websites about downtown Vancouver, the chat is that Vancouver no longer has a downtown. It's a resort. It's almost all residential. Developers make five times as much selling condos as building office space. Needless to say, the offices have left town.

Does it make sense to spend three times as much selling the buildings as designing them? Once the last condo is sold, the developer is out of there."