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Growing Pains in Railtown

The Nascent Neighbourhood

Railtown 1The Vancouver Observer, an online independent newspaper, in an October 2013 article describes Railtown as “A taste of Brooklyn in Vancouver” and as “Vancouver’s final frontier.” The article defines this small area as within Alexander Street on the south and the railyards on the Burrard Inlet waterfront on the north between Columbia Street and Heatley Avenue. A May 2014 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) online article defines the area as somewhat larger extending from the waterfront as far south as Hastings Street between Main Street and Hawkes Avenue, a slight shift eastward, but both articles include a core area from Alexander Street north between Main Street and Heatley Avenue, and both express concern over gentrification.

The Gentrification Controversy

In a sidebar, “A brief history of gentrification in Vancouver,” The Observer defines gentrification as “people being pushed out of their neighbourhood by people with more money,” noting that the gentrification boom follows a long period of deterioration in which property values fell to very low levels. During this period, nobody paid property taxes, the city seized land for delinquent taxes, then sold it for bottom-level prices to buyers eager to profit from the 1966 Strata Titles Act, which for the first time made mere apartments real estate. Before that law there were no condos, just single-owner or cooperative properties. Condominium construction and conversion accelerated gentrification of neighbourhoods and displacement of their residents unable to buy into the change.

Railtown 3The Observer concludes that the city should explore “more creative modes” of property ownership by cooperative, shared ownership of whole buildings, cohousing, and laneway housing, small structures typically built in the rear of pre-existing. The CBC laments the facts that rapid growth in Railtown may be good news for business but that 13,000 Downtown East Side low-income residents living on pensions or welfare benefits face the threat of eviction.

New Attractions

Once a rough industrial district of dives and brothels, Railtown today is home to the avant-garde Railtown Design District, six affiliated businesses aiming to make the neighborhood a centre of architectural advancement. In addition to the Design District, Railtown has seen several new businesses and cafes arrive as old warehouse and factory buildings convert to new uses. The Vancouver Urban Winery has an historic building in which it manufactures, packages, imports, and distributes wine for multiple brands and hold functions and parties around wine themes. So popular has this new venture proven to be with patrons that it started in 2012 with two employees and now has thirty.

Information Links:

http://strathconabia.com/
http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/dtes-local-area-plan.aspx

Downtown Eastside Development Plan

Railtown, Gastown, and the rest of the Downtown Eastside may see major changes from the city council approval in March 2014 after two days of public hearings of a plan to guide future development. The mayor says the plan reflects “aspirations for safer and more stable Railtown 2housing, protections for low-income residents, stronger support for mental health and addictions, and a more vibrant local economy.”

The plan is ambitious in its aims to accommodate developers who have driven up land values by purchasing, redeveloping, or speculating on neighbourhood properties and to protect low-income residents increasingly struggling to afford rent and food as neighbourhood costs increase. Plan critics say provisions for new or replacement “social housing”* units, upgrades to single-room occupancies, and rent-subsidized units may help some area residents but will leave others in squalor or on the streets. Whether the plan does enough for all 6,300 residents on social assistance and 6,000 others on low incomes is uncertain, but in a no-condos zone along Hastings Street new structures must be at least 60 percent social housing, and one third of those new units must rent at shelter rates. The plan protects heritage buildings and designates Railtown as a potential location for office use.

* The British/Canadian term “social housing” is synonymous with “public housing” in the USA.

New Railtown Live MLS Listings

Railtown, Vancouver, Trendy

1-5/5
  • 35 GORE Avenue in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2351015

    Main Photo: 35 GORE Avenue in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2351015
    • Photo 1: 35 GORE Avenue in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2351015
    • Photo 2: 35 GORE Avenue in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2351015
    • Photo 3: 35 GORE Avenue in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2351015
    • Photo 4: 35 GORE Avenue in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2351015
    • Photo 5: 35 GORE Avenue in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2351015
    • Photo 6: 35 GORE Avenue in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2351015
    • Photo 7: 35 GORE Avenue in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2351015
    • Photo 8: 35 GORE Avenue in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2351015
    • Photo 9: 35 GORE Avenue in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2351015
    $1,699,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2351015
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    1,522 sq. ft.
    35 Gore Avenue is situated in the Edge Development, which is strategically and conveniently located at the 3-way intersection of Gore Avenue, Alexander Street and Railway Street. The Edge is a large scale mixed-use development that features creative and inspirational spaces for living and working. The subject property is a unique live-work strata unit featuring double height ceilings, a funky concrete finish, a generous storefront entrance way, with large glass window panels, grade level loading at the rear with a roll-up loading door, 2 parking stalls, a nicely improved washroom and shower, kitchen and much much more. More details
    Listed by Corbel Commercial Inc.
  • 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2369833

    Main Photo: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 1: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 2: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 3: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 4: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 5: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 6: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 7: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 8: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 9: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 10: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 11: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 12: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 13: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 14: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 15: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 16: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 17: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 18: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 19: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    • Photo 20: 412 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "THE EDGE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2369833
    $889,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2369833
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    954 sq. ft.
    THE EDGE-Railtown’s sought-after & unique concrete mid-rise with a very trendy location steps to downtown & the best restaurants & shopping. This 954 sqft, 2 bed, 2 full bath, double height loft is very cool with soaring 15’ floor-to-ceiling windows, big south facing balcony w/ peaceful views of trees & blue sky, brick feature walls & fireplace surround, HW floors, & sleek kitchen w/ gas stove. Versatile bedroom on the main with double glass sliding doors & loft bed. Upstairs has the large master bedroom with den, built-ins & nice ensuite. The Edge has an excellent reputation & a fabulous 7,000 sqft amenity building (woodworking & metal shops, kiln & ceramics rooms, music rehearsal rooms, darkroom plus exercise room). Rentals & pets ok. 1 secure parking. More details
    Listed by Stilhavn Real Estate Services
  • 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2356646

    Main Photo: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 1: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 2: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 3: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 4: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 5: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 6: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 7: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 8: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 9: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 10: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 11: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 12: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 13: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 14: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 15: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 16: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 17: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 18: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 19: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    • Photo 20: 607 289 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2356646
    $769,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2356646
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    832 sq. ft.
    THE EDGE - One of the Gastown/Railtown's most sought after buildings. This spacious 2 bath Loft has double height 16'5Ft ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, Sunny South facing patio bringing in a lot of natural light, a gas fireplace and in-suite storage. One parking stall & 7000 sqft amenities space w/woodworking studio, metal shop, gym, band room, pottery studio & more. Steps to Gastown restaurants & shopping. Open House Sat June 22 2:00 - 4:00PM. More details
    Listed by Engel & Volkers Vancouver
  • 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2381896

    Main Photo: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 1: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 2: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 3: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 4: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 5: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 6: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 7: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 8: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 9: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 10: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 11: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 12: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 13: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 14: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 15: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 16: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 17: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 18: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 19: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    • Photo 20: 202 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Strathcona Condo for sale in "626 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381896
    $509,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2381896
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    570 sq. ft.
    Welcome to 626 Alexander in Historic Railtown. A one bedroom + one bathroom condo built by Epix Development. Fantastic open layout, 9' ceilings and beautiful engineered hardwood floors throughout. Enjoy the views of the North Shore Mountains from your main living space. The gourmet kitchen comes fully equipped with integrated European appliances, quartz countertops, gas range, and ample storage space. The spa inspired bathroom features a stunning walk in shower, floating vanity and tiled shower floor. Enjoy the common courtyard equipped with a BBQ that is perfect for the summer months. More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Crest Realty
  • 210 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2381193

    Main Photo: 210 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381193
    • Photo 1: 210 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381193
    • Photo 2: 210 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381193
    • Photo 3: 210 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381193
    • Photo 4: 210 626 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2381193
    $494,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2381193
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    570 sq. ft.
    VANCOUVER'S NEWEST AND FUNKIEST NEIGHBOURHOOD, RAILTOWN, COMPLETE WITH GREAT BOUTIQUE EATING EXPERIENCES AND TOP END MICRO BREWERIES ALL CLOSE BY. CLOSE TO TRANSIT AND A QUICK RIDE DOWNTOWN OR USE YOUR BIKE TO COMMUTE. THIS ONE BEDROOM ONE BATHROOM CONDO WAS BUILT BY EPIX DEVELOPMENTS. GREAT OPEN LAYOUT WITH 9' CEILINGS AND ENGINEERED HARDWOOD THROUGHOUT. YOUR GOURMET KITCHEN COMES COMPLETE WITH TOP END EUROPEAN APPLIANCES INCLUDING A GAS RANGE TO GO WITH A LARGE QUARTZ COUNTERTOP ISLAND WITH UNDER BAR SEATING. LOTS OF CUPBOARD SPACE. DOWNSTAIRS YOU HAVE A STORAGE LOCKER AND SEPARATE BIKE ROOM. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO LIVE HERE, IT'S AN IDEAL INCOME REVENUE PRODUCING INVESTMENT PROPERTY. More details
    Listed by eXp Realty
1-5/5
Data was last updated June 24, 2019 at 01:05 PM (UTC)
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