Wood construction tries to grow up
One of the big problems of doing urban revitalization on main streets is that the economics of mid-rise construction; at six stories it's tough to justify the land and fixed costs of replacing the one and two story buildings. That's where wood construction has such a great benefit: it's cheaper and faster. According to Susan Pigg in the Toronto Star:
Smaller buildings are often a better fit for suburban communities, transit routes and neighbourhoods outside the highrise-dominated downtown core. They are also more popular with families and seniors and are ideal for areas slated, under [Ontario] provincial growth policies, for more intensified development.
Most importantly, says Tad Putyra, chief executive of developer Great Gulf Home’s lowrise division, six-storey wood construction can be as much as 20 per cent cheaper than traditional concrete and steel, and far faster to build. Much of it can even be prefabricated and constructed on site.