Brewers Park is taking shape, just a little behind schedule

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The renewal of Brewers Park is starting to take shape. The park is located at 4175 Victoria Drive, a couple of blocks north of Kingsway. We’ve included photos taken on December 19, 2020 in the above slideshow.

The signage around the site shows that December 15th, 2020 was targeted as the completion date of the park renewal. The project is clearly behind schedule, and there’s not a lot of hustle to finish it anytime soon. The Brewers Park website is now stating that construction is “expected to be complete in early 2021.” While it is reassuring to see that progress is being made, an open question is: could this have been done better? Could the park have already been reopened?

The staff presentation to Park Board shows they chose to go with the lowest bidder, at a total of $1.81million, as recommended by staff (please see screenshot). It’s worth noting that the bid winner had been initially disqualified, but the City’s Legal Services department allowed the bid to be accepted upon review. What was the reason for the original disqualification for the was the lowest bidder that won the contract, Shangri-La Landscaping? Why did CoV Legal allow the bid to go through? Will anyone take responsibility?

It’s perhaps not always best practice to go with the lowest bid, especially if there are a close range of bids. Sometimes the ‘middle of the pack’ bid works out better in the long run. This is of course easiest to say with 20/20 hindsight.

This project is not making a new park, but renewing an existing one. There’s a page in the presentation to Park Board that shows amenity deficient areas of Vancouver (Initiative Zones Map, condensed and reproduced below). Many of the areas in need of park board amenities are on the Eastside, with pockets in the downtown, in Mount Pleasant and Fairview, and in southeast Vancouver. The location of Brewers Park is shown with a yellow diamond in the map:

The contract for renewing Brewers Park was awarded on February 10, 2020. The presentation to Park Board is reproduced in the PDF below:

Click to access PRESENTATION-BrewersParkRenewalConstructionContract-20200210.pdf

https://parkboardmeetings.vancouver.ca/2020/20200210/index.htm (Feb 10, 2020 Park Board meeting)

More information on the park renewal is available at vancouver.ca/brewerspark

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