Vancouver’s sky-high real estate prices are changing the shape of its retail districts – with pricey neighbourhoods feeling some pain, and formerly neglected pockets of the city getting a boost.
Several long-time businesses on the city’s expensive west side are either closing down or moving as retail strips transform under the pressures of rent and tax increases, redevelopment and a shifting demographic. The shopping strip along West Broadway, in the once-trendy heart of Upper Kitsilano, suddenly has vacant storefronts. Long-time shops are moving or shutting down.
“There is something wrong with West Broadway – an unprecedented number of businesses are closing their doors,” said Marion Jamieson, director of the Upper Kitsilano Residents Association. “I think the kinds of issues we’re facing in the residential areas of gentrification are also having an impact on commercial areas.”