Vancouver’s City Council recently voted in favour of a rezoning application that paved the way for construction of a 5-story building housing 35 residential rental units in Grandview-Woodland – part of the city’s vibrant and diverse Commercial Drive neighbourhood. This approved development follows close on the heels of current and anticipated addy projects in the area and, taken together, all signs indicate that this long-established sector of the city may be part of the next big wave of investment in Vancouver real estate.
Thriving Commercial Hub
With its convenient location east of downtown, Grandview-Woodland’s appeal owes much to its multi-cultural heritage and population occupying a strong mix of commercial, industrial, single-family and multi-family properties. Commercial Drive (known simply as “The Drive” to locals) is home to a thriving commercial hub of unique shops and eateries. One of the best ways to get a feel for this community is to walk the length of The Drive from Venables to Broadway and take in the sights, sounds and smells of this eclectic part of town. Japanese, Mexican, Indian, Cuban and Italian restaurants and gastropubs sprinkled between organic markets, bars and charming boutiques all combine to create the one-of-a-kind experience sought by millennials and baby boomers alike.
Central, Transit-Friendly Location
Convenient access to transportation is one of the many attractions to life in and around The Drive. For most people, a car is not necessary to get around the neighbourhood which is also well-served by public transit in the form of TransLink buses and SkyTrain stations To top it all off, owing to the fact that much of the community is built upon a rise, life in Grandview-Woodland offers excellent views of the city and the Burrard Inlet.
According to the 2011 Canadian census, Grandview-Woodland is home to a little over 27,000 people. As with the rest of Vancouver, the largest age group consists of 30-44-year olds. English, French, Italian, Chinese, Spanish and Tagalog are commonly heard on neighbourhood streets. After World War II, the areas came to be known as Vancouver’s Little Italy and, while many Italian residents have migrated to other areas of the city, their indelible stamp on the community’s culinary scene survives.
Rich Culture, Architectural Heritage
Complementing the eclectic mix of people, food and shops is a rich architectural heritage. There are still grand homes dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Grandview-Woodland was regarded as a prestigious residential enclave for the city’s elite. Interspersed among these stately homes are smaller cottages and multi-family dwellings. There is also plenty of green space to be found in Grandview Park, Alice Townley Park and other parks all striving to meet the outdoor recreational needs of modern city dwellers.
As Vancouver struggles to confront its affordable housing crisis head on, projects such as the recently approved 5-story apartment building will supply highly coveted rental units at an affordable price point in a vibrant section of town rich in history, culture and economic vitality. Grandview-Woodland is a real neighbourhood where middle class folks can live, work and play. For people of any age looking to find affordable housing in Vancouver, keep your eye on Grandview-Woodland.
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