What the Hell is That?!? – The Empty Lot
It’s hard to spend more than a day in Vancouver without noticing the eyesore that is the empty lot at Davie and Howe. It’s even become a bit of a landmark, with its artificial Christmas tree branches strung through the chainlink fence to hide the giant muddy pit within from the eyes of passing pedestrians and drivers.
But what’s the story, really? Isn’t the property worth millions? Could it be the disputed estate of a deceased property mogul? A crime scene? A sinkhole, like in Garden State?
Nothing quite so exciting, but still interesting.
The lot had been the site of a Texaco gas station which was torn down in 1989. Environmental guidelines severely limit the types of establishment that may be built over a previous gas station site for up to a decade or so, so Imperial Oil retained ownership of a pay parking site over the land, but that as well was ripped up in 1996 and the land was allowed to air out for decontamination.
Finally this June, after nearly twenty years of inactivity, the lot has some promise for a new life. Anthem was granted a zoning approval by the City of Vancouver this year to start a new condo project on the property, called Alto, so it may not be long before the Davie St Pit is nothing more than a legend.