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Chinatown Overview

Vancouver ChinatownCanada’s largest Chinatown, among the largest in North America, is in the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, in the blocks around Main, Pender, and Keefer Streets with the Gastown and Downtown districts to the west, Downtown Eastside to the north, the residential district of Strathcona to the east, and False Creek to the south. Chinatown remains a popular tourist attraction despite the growth of the newer Chinese immigrant business district in the suburb of Richmond south of Vancouver on Lulu Island in the Fraser River. Many affluent Hong Kong and Taiwan immigrants in Richmond have developed successful Chinese businesses in the area now named Golden Village by the City of Richmond, which once proposed the name “Chinatown” only to encounter strong resistance from the original Chinatown in Vancouver and from non-Chinese Richmond residents and merchants.

Asian Influx

The Greater Vancouver Regional District received large numbers of Asian immigrants during the late 20th Century, primarily Chinese, whose population reached 300,000 by the mid-’90s. More immigrants settled in Richmond than in Vancouver Chinatown for its lower costs of living and closer distance to the Vancouver International Airport. The development of suburban Asian shopping districts with plenty of parking space like Richmond’s Aberdeen Centre, visibly impaired the business heart of historic Chinatown.

Decline

Chinatown businesses today consist mostly of working-class retailers, small groceries, tea shops, and souvenir stores. Some restaurants stand out, but there are no longer so many, and their declining numbers brought less foot traffic and nighttime activity than in former times. The 10-percent Chinatown vacancy rate shows the need for a fresh approach to development to replace businesses that have moved to suburban locations, retired, or simply closed. Redevelopment opportunities are clearly present. Chinatown lease rates from $15–30/square foot are the cheapest in the city, much lower than those in Vancouver’s Downtown shopping district.

The Vancouver Chinatown Business Improvement Area

In the 1990s, the Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association searched for an effective vehicle for projects to revitalize the area. Gastown and Downtown Vancouver had formed business improvement areas (BIAs) with evident success. With the consent and support of merchants and property owners, the association planned to establish a Chinatown BIA.

After several attempts, the association succeeded in winning the community support necessary establish a Chinatown BIA. The Vancouver Chinatown Business Improvement Area (VCBIA) incorporated in 2000 on a model of BIAs successful in other areas of the city to improve Chinatown’s cleanliness and safety, expand and promote its events, and work with media and external partners to make Chinatown popular and prosperous again. A voluntary board of property owners and tenants manages the VCBIA. The city assists with annual funding through a special property tax like a local improvement levy. Each property’s contribution to the annual BIA budget is according to its proportionate share of the total BIA taxable value.

Information Links:

http://vancouver-chinatown.com
http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/chinatown-revitalization.aspx

Redevelopment Prospects

A new Chinatown business plan now encourages entrepreneurs to move in to rehabilitate storefronts, attract a young crowd, and make visitors more comfortable. Attracted by low rents and heritage buildings, new businesses have moved in with owners in apartments above the shops. Chinatown’s priority now is to attract people of all backgrounds in the belief that non-traditional stores will bring a new flow of energy and income. Commercial activity is increasingly diverse with vintage stores, two art galleries, bars, and now a nightclub at the location of the former Ming’s restaurant, an attempt to bring back some of the nightlife atmosphere of the 1950s and ’60s. The diversity of new shops and businesses has created a new Chinatown image of vibrancy to compete with suburban districts and complement nearby Gastown and Downtown Vancouver.

New Chinatown Live MLS Listings

Chinatown, Vancouver, BC, Real Estate

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  • 797 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Home for sale in "Angiolina Court" (Vancouver East) : MLS(r) # R2156206

    Main Photo: 797 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Home for sale in "Angiolina Court" (Vancouver East)  : MLS(r) # R2156206
    • Wilder Snail
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Living & Dining
    • Dining & Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Powder Room
    • Bedroom
    • Bedroom
    • Den
    • Bathroom
    • Bathroom
    • Master Bedroom
    • Master Bedroom
    • Master Bedroom
    • Master Bathroom
    • Exterior Front
    • Front Porch
    $8,900,000
    Multifamily
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2156206
    Bedrooms:
    3
    Bathrooms:
    3
    Floor Area:
    2,190 sq. ft.
    You know the building, but not the name: Angiolina Court. This iconic Strathcona "Heritage" style building originally built in 1910 has so much character! With 7 residential suites, 1 commercial unit and 2 three-storey plus basement side-by side duplex buildings containing a total of four suites, this building is perfect for an investor or as an owner occupier / family compound. At almost 17,000 sqft in total this property has had many upgrades with most recent being electrical and roof. All suites are fully leased to good quality tenants. Located on McLean Park in the coveted Strathcona neighbourhood between the new hospital, vibrant Chinatown and ever-changing East Hastings. Viewings by appointment only, please do not disturb tenants. More details
    Sutton Grp-West Coast (Brdwy)
  • 50 133 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "THE KEEFER" (Vancouver East) : MLS(r) # R2087602

    Main Photo: 50 133 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "THE KEEFER" (Vancouver East)  : MLS(r) # R2087602
    $4,880,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2087602
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    2,181 sq. ft.
    This is THE penthouse. Welcome to the storied Keefer Building. Imagine having an immaculately renovated over 2,200 sq ft loft space with soaring ceilings and a 3,000 sq ft rooftop patio with your very own private pool. The uniqueness of this property blows away the competition. This Penthouse is in like-new condition with a brand-new kitchen featuring Gaggenau appliances as well as new Irish white oak hardwood. Amazing finishings include silent electric blinds, air con, custom built-in closet systems & a show stopping glass bottom rooftop pool! Sale includes car lift for 2 cars. No property for 8 years. Need more space? Ask about purchasing the 2,500 more sq ft of living space or even the entire building. You really can have it all! More details
    Four Sails Realty Inc.
  • 791 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE House for sale (Vancouver East) : MLS(r) # R2172392

    Main Photo: 791 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE House for sale (Vancouver East)  : MLS(r) # R2172392
    $1,379,000
    Residential Detached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2172392
    Bedrooms:
    3
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    2,183 sq. ft.
    Calling all renovators, builders and dreamers... Bring your design ideas to this fantastic project home situated right on McLean Park! This 1905 built character home features almost 2,200 square feet of living space spread over 3 floors. The home is currently tenanted, but in need of a full restoration. Potential for 3 beds up and a 2 bed suite below. Lots of options with this one! The current owner has draft plans for an amazing space with an open main floor and sloped garden with garage. Contact us for more details on this fantastic development opportunity in one of the most rapidly changing neighborhoods in the city. Showings by appointment only. More details
    Sutton Grp-West Coast (Brdwy)
  • 805 221 UNION Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Condo for sale in "V6A" (Vancouver East) : MLS(r) # R2179972

    Main Photo: 805 221 UNION Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Condo for sale in "V6A" (Vancouver East)  : MLS(r) # R2179972
    $999,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2179972
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,088 sq. ft.
    The ultimate expression of urban cool. Welcome to your SUB-PENTHOUSE at V6A – a growing, vibrant, chill hotspot. Featuring 2bd + den, 2bath, 1,088sf with polished concrete floors + expansive 355sf PRIVATE PATIO w/city & mountain views - a perfect pad for entertaining & swooning. With greenspace at your doorstep & parks nearby, this is a prime choice for dog owners. Steps to Strathcona, Seawall & Olympic Village, 7 min to the SkyTrain & Downtown core or Gastown. W/ concierge, rentals allowed, plans for a new St. Paul’s Hospital site around the corner & all of the growth & cool new spots sprouting within 500m of this 2010 built concrete building - a phenomenal INVESTMENT & LIFESTYLE offering. BONUS - includes 1 storage + 1 parking. OPEN HOUSE: Saturday + Sunday, June 24 + 25 | 2pm - 4pm More details
    Royal LePage Sussex Klein Grp
  • 319 55 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "KORET LOFTS" (Vancouver East) : MLS(r) # R2174631

    Main Photo: 319 55 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "KORET LOFTS" (Vancouver East)  : MLS(r) # R2174631
    $619,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2174631
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    720 sq. ft.
    Just steps from great Gastown restaurants like L’Abattoir, Nicli and Tacofino, some of the best boutique shops in town is this super cool 720 sqft suite in the coveted Koret Lofts. With 10' ceilings featuring exposed posts & beams, sandblasted brick walls, polished concrete floors, flexible open plan and big heritage style sash windows it is easy to see why people are so taken by this New York inspired & historic warehouse conversion. Originally built in 1909 with concrete, brick and timber construction then carefully and completely restored in 2006 creating a collection of amazing lofts. The LIVE/WORK zoning provides a ton of options! This is one of Gastown’s very best! More details
    RE/MAX Select Realty
  • 501 718 MAIN Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Condo for sale in "GINGER" (Vancouver East) : MLS(r) # R2180360

    Main Photo: 501 718 MAIN Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Condo for sale in "GINGER" (Vancouver East)  : MLS(r) # R2180360
    $508,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2180360
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    605 sq. ft.
    Located in the beautiful Ginger development is this gorgeous, spacious 1 bed/1 bath apartment with an open concept kitchen/dining/living space that enters onto your large, private balcony with stunning SW city views including BC Place and all the way up Main Street. This upper corner unit offers great privacy, top-of-the-line finishes and appliances as well as a bright and sunny outlook. Situated right in the heart of Chinatown, you are steps to shops/restaurants/transit, as well as amazing bike lanes that take you straight downtown. A storage locker is included and there is a secured bike storage room in this extremely well run building. More details
    Angell Hasman & Assoc.Rlty.Ltd
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Listing information last updated on June 29, 2017
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