First Snowfall of the Year? Sort of.

November went out with a chilly whimper and December came in the same. Saturday night just before midnight a little bit of moisture rolled in over the top of all that cold gorge air that blew in earlier. That left a few flakes flying as Saturday became Sunday and November turned into December. I got what amounted to a fragile dusting that did not stick around to see the dawn.

December marks the unofficial start of winter and is typically our coldest month edging out January by the slightest of margins. I love to see the reactions of people every time the “threat” of snow arises. Considering that Vancouver USA averages a mere 6 inches a year, we get a lot of snow ‘threats’ in the winter time. Most of those possible snow encounters end up only effecting areas at higher elevations above 1000 feet. There are two types of winter denizens in the ‘Couv’ along with three types of winters. There are the snow haters and the snow lovers. The three types of winters are ‘snow lover’s delight’, ‘snow haters fright’, and ‘nobody’s satisfied’ 😉

Sometimes we get a series of snow events and or a big dumping and the snow haters be hatin’. Other winters barely a flake flies and the lovers weep. Then there is those winters with several really light dustings and nobody is satisfied. So goes the winter in Vancouver USA.

One thing I hope we can all agree on is that this year we really could use a heavy dose of rain. We have been running dry for several seasons and we need to recharge the water and snow supply. I fall into the snow lovers camp so if all that rain includes some fluffy white frozen stuff, I’m down with it.

Ah the ‘Couv’ life; it is good.

Hello Thanksgiving!

Well this week I won’t be talking about tower cranes and big high rise projects, if that’s in your wheelhouse, check out Urban Living in the ‘Couv’ where I track the urban projects in Vancouver and the local urban condo market.

Thanksgiving week is here and that is the official start of the holiday season. After a mild start to November we are going to see some chillier air in the region and some cooler winter like temps this week. Some small weather systems will brush over the region and with cooler air in place one never knows if a little fluffy white precipitation may fall. November snow is a bit on the rare side but it does happen and at my house in East Vancouver I have measured sticking snow four times in November since 2002. I suppose that works out to about a 22% chance. Hmm… you never really know.

The big day itself is tentatively set for cool and clear. I say “tentatively” because let’s face it, weather is pretty persnickety this time of year, well actually every time of year save for the 75 days of summer 😉 So for now we’ll go with the sunny and 39° for Thanksgiving day that the National Weather Service seems to be calling for in my neighborhood in NE Vancouver.

I’d like to wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.

How Many Cranes in 2020?

At the end of last week Vancouver had three tower cranes operating downtown on mid rise and high rise projects along with several other mobile cranes. I mentioned a few weeks ago that tower cranes are a sort of an economic indicator for cities. Vancouver USA is too small to be tracked by the RLB Crane Index but Seattle tops that list with some 68 active cranes and Portland is down in the middle of the pack at 30 active cranes.

Waterfront October 2019

Tower cranes are used on larger projects that are often built tall. These large projects represent a major investment in the community by public and private entities and often with considerable equity investment from big time wall street bankers.

OxBlue Cam at Angelo Site

The 250 foot tall crane that has been operating most of this year over Kirkland Tower will be coming down soon if it is not scheduled already. But in the meantime two other cranes have gone up over the Aria Project on West 6th near Esther Short Park and Al Angelo’s new project at Mill Plain at C Street.

Both of these crane will likely be up for all or most of 2020. That leaves a window of opportunity for Vancouver to have more than a half-dozen cranes in operation later in 2020. The Columbia Apartment project on block 20 of the waterfront will almost certainly use a tower crane and the Aegis at the Academy mixed use complex of mid rise buildings will also very likely require a tower crane. The AC Marriott on Terminal one would bring the total to five. But lurking in the background are several other projects that would use a tower crane. The Timberhouse and the Springs Living both at the waterfront and both could get underway in 2020.

So our Vancouver is busting at the seams with projects and this is good for the local economy and great for our metro area street cred.

Ah the ‘Couv’ life; it is good.