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Railtown [p.1]

Posted by Aedis Realty on November 20, 2018
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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

1-5/6
  • 299 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2307893

    Main Photo: 299 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Hastings Condo for sale in "The Edge" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2307893
    $899,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2307893
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    989 sq. ft.
    Spacious ground level live/work studio with with direct street access and retail exposure. This unique and highly versatile space is equally ideal for a living space as it is a business, and allows the flexibility to switch back and forth. Large open concept floorplan with corner windows for lots of light. Updated kitchen featuring stainless steel appliances. The Edge is a desirable building with incredible amenities including bike room, fitness centre, wood and metal work shops, pottery studio, music and photography rooms, and more. Located in thriving Railtown, only minutes from some of Vancouver's best restaurants, shopping, waterfront and more! Property also Listed on MLS for SALE as COMMERCIAL/OFFICE – MLS#C8021131 More details
    Listed by Stilhavn Real Estate Services
  • 801 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2315282

    Main Photo: 801 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2315282
    $888,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2315282
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    988 sq. ft.
    Chic Gastown Entertainer’s Condo: Almost 1,000 sqft of newly renovated space in this bright corner suite on the sub-PH floor. 6-piece Fisher & Paykel and Bosch kitchen with huge island, Quartz waterfall countertops, ambient custom dining area, all with designer lighting and finishes. Smoothed ceilings and engineered hardwood throughout. Feature fireplace with high-efficiency fire insert. The bathroom features chevron tile design and upscale black fixtures and lighting. This 2009-built, concrete building is two blocks from the heart of Gastown and steps to shopping, restaurants, bars and coffee shops. One parking and a storage locker are included. More details
    Listed by Oakwyn Realty Downtown Ltd.
  • 205 28 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "POWELL LANE" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2295769

    Main Photo: 205 28 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "POWELL LANE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2295769
    • Exterior Front
    • Kitchen
    • Dining Room
    • Dining Room
    • Master Bedroom
    • Master Bedroom
    • Master Bedroom
    • Bedroom
    • Bedroom
    • Dining Room
    • Living Room
    • Bathroom
    • Bathroom
    • Kitchen
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Entrance Hall
    $875,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2295769
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    1,030 sq. ft.
    Gastown Living at it's finest! Come and check out over 1,000 square feet of fully renovated open-concept beauty. Tons of space to enjoy! All brand new stainless steel appliances, washer & dryer and everything else 🙂 Centrally located, just steps to all of your favourite restaurants, shops and night spots! The building also boasts a rooftop deck with city, mountain and water view! Rental Spots Available! Easy to show. Open Sunday Nov, 18th 3:00-5:00PM. More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Select Properties
  • 501 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2314866

    Main Photo: 501 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2314866
    $779,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2314866
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    990 sq. ft.
    Best value in Gastown. At almost 1000 sq ft, this two bedroom with over-sized den (or 3rd bed) corner unit is drenched in light and can take your house-sized furniture. Built in 2009, SMART Gastown is a meticulously maintained boutique concrete building and cherished home to a wonderful community of residents. Workout at the gym and grab your latte and spacious parking and storage with pets and rentals allowed. Open sat, Oct 13th from 1:00-3:00pm. More details
    Listed by Four Sails Realty Inc.
  • 512 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2304170

    Main Photo: 512 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2304170
    $609,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2304170
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    738 sq. ft.
    *Centrally located loft in popular Gastown* Large 738 sqft, 1 bdrm+ open den at the SMART development by Concord. Nice courtyard view, sliding glass bdrm doors, laminate flooring, SS appliances, large kitchen island upgrade, avonite counter, frosted glass cabinet, wine shelving & more! Open concept leaves no wasted space and feels spacious and functional. Unit faces courtyard on the QUIET side of the building. Great central location to all shops, restaurants, transit, etc. BONUS: 2 large storage lockers (rare)! More details
    Listed by Team 3000 Realty Ltd.
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Listing information last updated on November 20, 2018 at 04:20 PM (UTC)
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