At the beginning of the year, commercial property owners across the city are issued a notice of property assessment. This is the value BC Assessment Authority places on your property based on market value and its highest and best potential use.
The Strathcona BIA has noted a dramatic increase in property values for 2019 and we’re taking action to support our members in the face of rising commercial property tax and its implications. Read on to learn what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and next steps.
After much consideration, the Strathcona BIA Board of Directors has decided to commission a commercial tax agent, Paul Sullivan of Burgess, Cawley, Sullivan & Associates Ltd., to review all SBIA member properties.
This means every member of the SBIA benefits from a professional legal opinion regarding their 2019 commercial property assessment. The agent will then determine if a member has merit or grounds to appeal their assessment ahead of the January 31st deadline. If you are a property recommended for appeal, it will automatically be filed on your behalf. If you’ve already initiated an appeal, our action will not negatively impact it.
Our commercial tax agent, Paul Sullivan, draws from many different data sources and considerable experience to arrive at his recommendations. There is no guarantee our agent will recommend your property for appeal.
Properties with Grounds for Appeal
If an appeal is filed on your behalf, we’ll contact you with the information you need should you wish to proceed with your appeal process after January 31st including:
- The opportunity to learn more about what an appeal could mean for your property, business or organization
- The opportunity to engage Burgess, Cawley, Sullivan & Associates Ltd. or a commercial tax agent of your choice to represent you through the appeal process
- The decision to drop the appeal if it doesn’t serve you
- The decision to take no action therefore allowing the appeal to expire after March 15, 2019
The SBIA will attempt to reach all members the week of January 28th, in advance of the January 31st appeal deadline, with the results of the SBIA-wide property assessment review. If an appeal is not recommended for your address, and you disagree, you can still file your own appeal by going to bcassessment.ca
Both commercial property owners and commercial property tenants have a right to appeal their assessment.
Per the board’s decision, the SBIA is absorbing the cost of $100 per property which includes the benefit of a SBIA-wide review, the agent’s opinion, a final report on Strathcona commercial properties, and the filing of the recommended appeals to the Property Assessment Review Panel. Normally, the cost to initiate a review for an individual property would be higher. However, the SBIA is in a unique position to leverage the scale of our membership for a lower rate, benefiting every business, organization and property across our community.
As members, you will hear from the SBIA regarding this issue and opportunity including:
- An email before January 31st to members containing the results of our commercial tax agent’s final report
- Members with merit or grounds for an appeal will hear more immediately from the SBIA in the coming weeks regarding next steps
- An email and direct mail in Spring, 2019, to all members summarizing our findings and hopefully our success through this collective appeal process
If you’ve never received an email from us before you may not be on our list. To sign up from the SBIA newsletter, please visit our homepage at www.strathconabia.com or email us at email@example.com.
If you have any questions or concerns about this process, don’t hesitate to reach out.Read More
We’re super excited about the new murals.
How we got here
Several Hastings Urban Tree Nursery planters from 2014 were in need of a refresh. In August we had an open call for artists to propose new mural designs. A selection committee made up of staff and Sustainability Committee members evaluated the proposals and shortlisted several artists. We brought the shortlisted designs to the organizations and businesses who participate in the HUTN program and engaged local community members about the artworks. This included presenting to the VANDU Board of Directors and providing them printed designs so people who use their space could vote on their favourite. We also attended the DTES Neighbourhood House community drop-in to present designs and gather feedback. Other businesses with tree planters out front submitted their thoughts through a short online survey. After collecting the feedback, four local artists were selected to paint brand new murals on nine tree planters along East Hastings.
The selected artists and final murals
Artist Jenn Brisson worked on two planters in the 300 block of East Hastings in front of VANDU. In her piece, titled “Only Human”, energetic colours and patterns flow through two figures, creating the sensation of coming undone and together simultaneously. These patterns can be interpreted as waves, sound, energy or our Spirit. They show that we are all in constant flow; everything we do has a ripple effect on other people and we are all connected in this life. When writing about her experience with the project on her instagram page, Jenn wrote “Everyone was super supportive, friendly and expressed appreciation for what I was doing for their community”. Read the full post at @jennbrissonart, and check out her awesome work. Jenn is also an exhibiting artist in the upcoming Eastside Culture Crawl at her studio at 617 Gore Ave.
Artist Cate Wikelund completed murals in front of the DTES Neighbourhood House at 573 East Hastings. Cate lives a few blocks away and has engaged with programming at the DTES Neighbourhood House, making the final selection for this project by her peers and community members all the more meaningful. In her design, two Great Blue Herons face each other across two planters, serving to bring the planters into a relationship and mirroring how these birds interact in the wild. The natural and realistic look of her design elicited a lot of positive feedback as Cate was working – she even got some shout outs from people riding by on the bus! What a wonderful addition to the block. Cate recently completed another mural project on a shipping container in Oppenheimer park, and co-led the “Resilience Community Mural” project at 121 Heatley Ave.
In the 600 Block of East Hastings, artist Andrew Tavukciyan completed two murals in his signature bold and intricate style. A colourful and striking paint palette on one planter is contrasted by a black and white biomorphic design on the second planter. Andrew felt it was important for the designs to wrap seamlessly and continuously around the cylindrical shaped planters to give the illusion of no start or end. We are totally digging his visual style! You can find more works by Andrew on his Instagram account at @tavukciyan.
Artist Morgane Billault worked on three planters in the 700 block of East Hastings. She incorporated bright colours and a marvelous illustrative technique to create three interconnected landsacpes. Three animals: the crow, fish, and coyote, inspired her designs that bring west coast elements together with human elements, drawing on the nature/urban theme of the Hastings Urban Tree Nursery itself. You can’t miss these bright additions to the street! Discover more of Morgane’s work on her Instagram account @billaultmorgane.
Thank you to all of the artists who applied to be a part of this project. And a huge thank you and congratulations to the selected artists. We appreciate your creativity, distinct styles, and especially your willingness to work through the colder October weeks to get these murals done before winter!
Thank you to the City of Vancouver for providing grant funding to cover the costs of the artists’ paint supplies and materials as well as the cost of initial cleaning, priming and final sealing services by Goodbye Graffiti.
The artists fees are paid for by the Strathcona BIA.
Thank you to Mission Possible Maintenance who continue to maintain and upkeep the planters and trees on a monthly basis.
The Hastings Urban Tree Nursery (HUTN) is a joint project with Hastings Crossing BIA to bring greenery and beauty to East Hastings. The concrete planters house trees that grow under the care of local businesses and organizations. We look forward to replacing some of the damaged trees in the HUTN in late November.
The State of the Streets update is the annual action from our Mobility Advocacy Plan where we report to members on our progress with MAP action implementation. It includes information on important transportation news from the neighbourhood and resources such as promotional codes for a free trial of Mobi Bike Share and free sign-ups to Modo Carshare for Business.
Download the State of the Streets Map here to help inform your Strathcona mobility decisions.
No Time-Limit Meter Parking Pilot
This one-year pilot is an effort by the City of Vancouver to improve availability of short-term parking in Strathcona while also providing longer-term parking options for commuters. Our Mobility Advocacy Plan – MAP Strathcona – supports testing new street parking strategies.
Meters in pilot locations are in effect from 9am – 10pm, the cost is $1 an hour and there is no limit on how long you park there.
The Strathcona BIA is engaging businesses about their experience with the pilot project and sharing that information with the City. Our map highlights how often pilot locations are used between 11am and 3pm. All data is provided by the City of Vancouver and based on recent monitoring.
Modo Carshare for Business
Modo and the Strathcona BIA are teaming to offer free business account sign-ups for SBIA members, plus $50 Modo drive time for Modo individual membership sign-ups. Mention your SBIA member status when signing up for a Modo Business account. With Modo, you always have the right-sized fleet and can add an unlimited number of drivers to your account. You can choose from a range of vehicles in the Strathcona area, including a Nissan Compact Cargo Van. Learn more at modo.coop/business.
Use code SBIA50 to claim $50 drive time when signing up for a Modo individual membership online at modo.coop.
Promo is valid until September 30, 2019 and expires two months after redeemed.
Better Bus Stop Experience in Strathcona
Part of our upcoming MAP Strathcona work will include advocating for improved bus stop amenities and safety features at existing transit stops in the area. We want to improve the experience of taking transit to and from Strathcona. We also plan to engage members around how a 95-B-line bus stop in Strathcona could impact transit in our community. Have thoughts on this? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commuting Resources Free for your business
Challenged by the demand for parking? TravelSmart for Business is a free TransLink program that can help you review, evaluate, and improve current travel options for your employees. Services include site assessments, surveying employee mode choice and level of interest in trying something new, engagement through lunch n’ learns, carpool matchmaking, or support with administrating subsidized compass cards for employees. Interested? Contact email@example.com and loop in the Strathcona BIA for additional support!
Try Mobi by Shaw Go in Strathcona
You’ve likely noticed the new Mobi Bike Stations in the Strathcona area. Through our MAP engagement efforts we were able to help provide feedback to Mobi Bike Share on desirable locations for Mobi stations in the area.
Ever tried a Mobi Bike? The Strathcona BIA has partnered with Mobi by Shaw Go to give you a free 24 Hour Pass. Get places faster by grabbing a bike from any @mobi_bike station and drop it off anywhere in the service area. Use the bikes to commute, run errands or visit friends. Use promo code strath18 at mobibikes.ca. Select the 24 hour pass when signing up as a new rider and enter the promo code. Promo expires November 30, 2018.
Have you ever participated in Bike to Work Week?
The 2018 Fall Bike to Work Week by HUB Cycling takes place Oct. 29 – Nov. 4. Log your bike trips and be entered to win amazing prizes daily. Experience how cycling can be a healthier and happier way to arrive to work. Register at BTWW.ca.
More Transportation News in Strathcona
MAP Strathcona supports improving active transportation facilities and connections while also supporting efficient goods movement. The Alexander Street Bikeway reached the installation phase in May 2018. The SBIA helped facilitate meetings between City project staff and adjacent businesses to the new bikeway. As a result, an important loading bay for goods movement and business needs at Powell St. and Hawks Ave. will be accomodated. A small section of protected path will be introduced in two phases over 2018 and 2019 and has minimal impact on the width of the road, maintains parking, and allows for loading and delivery. The right turn off the Powell St. overpass onto Hawks Ave. will be banned to reduce conflicts at this intersection.
The SBIA continues to work and advocate for making our neighbourhood more walkable. Experience our walkable street gallery, 10 Blocks of Passion, which features five art pieces inspired by the work, passion, and narratives of our community. We hope to inspire more people from across the Lower Mainland to #WalkStrathcona and learn more about what makes us one of Vancouver’s most inspiring neighbourhoods.
Look out for an improved crossing on Clark Drive! In Fall 2018, a new crosswalk with pedestrian controlled flashing lights is scheduled to be installed on Clark Drive at Frances Street.Read More
Our concrete planters need a refresh!
About the Hastings Urban Tree Nursery
Four years ago we helped launch the Hastings Urban Tree Nursery (HUTN), a joint project with Hastings Crossing BIA to bring some greenery and beauty to East Hastings. We installed a series of concrete planters housing young trees, that have grown under the care of local businesses and organizations. Additional HUTN stewardship is provided by local social enterprise, Mission Possible Maintenance. Local artists were commissioned to paint unique murals on the planters.
What we are looking for
We’ve loved our first round of HUTN murals from 2014, but 10 of our planters are in need of a refresh. We’re inviting proposals from artists to re-paint our planters with marvelous new murals.
We would love to see works that engage with local community, heritage, culture, and natural elements. The works should enliven and enrich the Hastings corridor, while reflecting the values of the local community and the Strathcona BIA.
Examples of previous selected works:
Issue date: August 7th, 2018
Submission deadline: August 27th, 2018 by 5pm
This call is open to artists that reside in the Vancouver area. Indigenous artists and artists with ties to Strathcona are encouraged to apply. Artists who have previously completed works for this project are welcome to apply again. Artists must be able to complete the work before October 2018.
Planters and Associated Budgets
The area to be painted on each planter is approximately 113″ by 36″ (w X h)
Five artists will be chosen and each artist will be commissioned to paint the planters on one city block. Each selected artist will receive a base stipend of $400, plus an additional $200 for each planter painted. The blocks and program participants are as follows:
- 300 E Hastings Block, Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users – 2 planters ($800 allocated)
- 400 E Hastings Block, Vancouver Native Health Society – 1 planter ($600 allocated)
- 500 E Hastings Block, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House – 2 planters ($800 allocated)
- 600 E Hastings Block, Mission Possible – 2 Planters ($800 allocated)
- 700 E Hastings Block, Mikado Martial Arts, Pure Design Inc, Carscadden Stokes McDonald Architects – 3 planters ( $1000 allocated)
The SBIA will provide paint materials up to a maximum of $150 per planter. After painting, planters will be coated with a clear product to protect against graffiti damage.
The SBIA will work with the City of Vancouver to obtain any necessary permissions for selected mural proposals.
A selection committee will liaise with participating businesses and organizations to make the final selections by the beginning of September.
- Submit one proposed design for a planter painting (width to height ratio is approximately 3:1).
- Submit an Artist Statement that introduces your work and the proposal submitted
- Submit up to 4 numbered portfolio images of your work
- Submit your resume
- Include your contact information, including e-mail and phone number
Submit your proposal online using our Google submission form: Submit a proposal here!
You can also submit a proposal by mail or in person at the SBIA office (address below). Clearly distinguish the proposed planter design from portfolio images submitted. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you wish to have your images returned.
1220 East Hastings St
We look forward to seeing your submissions!Read More
The Strathcona BIA is seeking a full-time Executive Director to lead our dynamic organization.
About the Executive Director Role
The Executive Director provides leadership, direction, and works with the Board of Directors to achieve our mission, objectives and strategic plan. As Executive Director, you will be on the phone, on your feet, and on your game to advance our strategic plan and vision.
Reporting to the Board, you will act as a liaison between members, the board, staff, volunteers, government and other community partners. The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the delivery and implementation of all programs and services, including budgets, daily operations, as well as community and public relations.Read More
A no time-limit metered parking pilot is coming to the Strathcona BIA area
Availability of parking for employees is a long-standing issue in the Strathcona BIA area. We know this issue remains a key concern for area employers because it came up often in our recent MAP Strathcona engagement efforts. Streets in the SBIA area serve both long-term parking demand, including commuters and residents, and short-term parking demand, usually customers and resident visitors. Testing new street parking approaches and solutions, including dynamic parking rates or more flexible time limits, is marked as an action in our Mobility Advocacy Plan. It is exciting that we already see momentum with this action!
The City is planning to pilot no time-limit metered parking at various locations throughout the SBIA starting in March 2018. The aim is to help increase parking availability and more efficiently manage limited curb space. They will introduce approximately 100 metered parking spots without time limits to better manage both short-term and long-term demand. This equates to less than 10% of the current unregulated parking spots in the area.
Typically, metered parking in the City of Vancouver allows vehicles to be parked in one location for a maximum of two hours – much less than a typical work shift. In the areas to be piloted with no time-limit metered parking, drivers may pay to park for as much time as they require.
Chris Darwent from the City of Vancouver recently presented more information on the pilot program to the SBIA membership at the MAP Strathcona Launch event on February 8th 2018.
Time in effect: 9am – 10pm
Implementation: pay-by-plate paystations (accept coins or credit cards or you can use the paybyphone app)
List of No Time-Limit Metered Parking Pilot Areas
300 Railway St North Side
500 Alexander St North Side
600 Powell St North Side
300 Dunlevy Ave East Side
400 Heatley Ave (Hastings St to lane) East Side
300 Hawks Ave Both Sides
300 Glen Drive Both Sides
500 Vernon Drive East Side
Timeline and Evaluation
The installation of no time-limit metered parking is a relatively new way of regulating curb space in Vancouver. The City will be closely monitoring its impact on parking availability throughout 2018 to determine the best way to move forward in 2019 and beyond. Feedback from the SBIA and its members will help the City in its evaluation. The expectation is that this pilot will improve parking performance in the SBIA area. The City target for average observed occupancy in the parking areas of the pilot is between 60% – 85%.
Please send any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will direct your communications to the City Parking department who are leading the pilot project.
Fresh off the tails of Made In Strathcona’s Most Walkable Street initiative, we’re gearing up for our 2018 Walk Strathcona campaign: 10 Blocks of Passion.
10 Blocks of Passion will highlight 10 unique art pieces inspired by intimate personal stories from Strathcona. Showing a human look at tales from behind the scenes of our diverse array of businesses.
As one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, nestled just east of downtown, Strathcona is home to over 450 businesses, 7,000 employees and 11,000 residents – home to thousands of unique stories and voices. The area also boasts one of the highest concentrations of artists in Canada. Its rich history and unique offerings have attracted a number of different businesses and people.
10 Blocks of Passion Street Gallery
To celebrate our unique business community, the business district will be transformed into a walkable street gallery. Featuring original artworks inspired by the personal stories of Strathcona business members who have contributed to the culture of our neighbourhood.
We hope to inspire more people from across the Lower Mainland to #WalkStrathcona and learn more about what makes us one of Vancouver’s most inspiring neighbourhoods.
We will be selecting 24 business members to highlight, all of which will be featured on our social media channels. Of the 24 selected, 10 stories will be paired with an artist commissioned to create an original work inspired by these stories to be displayed in Strathcona. We’ll be looking to highlight businesses from all areas of the SBIA and across all sectors.
Applications are now open.
Are you an SBIA business member with an intimate personal story to highlight?
Are you an artist who would like to be featured in 10 Blocks of Passion?
All applications are due by December 1, 2017 – final selections will be announced December 15th, 2017.Read More
Creating community-serving retail and micro-enterprises in Chinese society buildings
Increased development in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighbourhood creates pressure on existing retail and small businesses. Rising land and rent prices – and the general scarcity of affordable commercial spaces – threaten their sustainability while new commercial functions cater mostly to a far more affluent demographic and are detached from the community’s cultural heritage. This loss of cultural identity is particularly apparent in Chinatown and Strathcona. At the same time, there are many street-facing underutilized buildings in these areas that could provide far greater benefit to the community.
Joji Kumagai of the Strathcona BIA, Wilco van Bemmel of Walas Concepts and June Chow of the Youth Collaborative for Chinatown, have recently taken the initiative for a project to create community-serving retail in underutilized Chinese society buildings. Our project will create opportunities for affordable retail and micro-enterprises that serve the community, strengthen the local culture with functions that fit the community fabric and cultural identity, provide inclusive employment opportunities and improve the public realm by activating storefronts and streets.
The City of Vancouver has awarded a DTES capital grant for phase 1 of our project. In this first phase, we search for potential locations, assess retail and service gaps, build partnerships with Chinese societiesRead More