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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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  • 20 135 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "THE KEEFER" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2190601

    Main Photo: 20 135 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "THE KEEFER" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2190601
    • Unit #20
    • Unit #50
    $9,500,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2190601
    Bedrooms:
    4
    Bathrooms:
    7
    Floor Area:
    5,757 sq. ft.
    20&50 133&135 KEEFER ST, VANCOUVER. Rare opportunity to live in a fantastic space, but also enjoy huge revenue opportunities. Offered for sale are 3 individual strata units at the renowned Keefer building, each consisting of 1 full floor. The main floor consists of a 1156 sq ft commercial storefront currently rented at $50,000 + GST per year plus a share of the profits. The second floor unit #20 is an expansive 2 bed/2.5 bath loft space. Alternatively, a great space for friends or family. Unit #50 is the PH & consists of an immaculately renovated over 2,200 sq ft loft space with soaring ceilings & a 3,000 sf rooftop & priv glass bottom pool. Bonus: 8 year tax abatement. More details
    Four Sails Realty Inc.
  • 50 133 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "THE KEEFER" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2190612

    Main Photo: 50 133 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "THE KEEFER" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2190612
    $4,688,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2190612
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    3
    Floor Area:
    2,181 sq. ft.
    Penthouse loft with your very own rooftop glass bottom pool. Welcome to the storied Keefer building. Imagine having an immaculately renovated over 2,200 sq ft loft space with soaring ceilings & 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 conditioning, custom built-in closet systems & a show stopping glass bottom rooftop pool/spa! Sale includes car lift for 2 cars. No property taxes for 8 years. This is the one! More details
    Four Sails Realty Inc.
  • 429 E PENDER Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE House for sale (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2196499

    Main Photo: 429 E PENDER Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE House for sale (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2196499
    $1,599,900
    Residential Detached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2196499
    Bedrooms:
    8
    Bathrooms:
    3
    Floor Area:
    2,673 sq. ft.
    Amazing opportunity to buy a two-family dwelling with RT-3 duplex zoning in the popular and desirable Mount Pleasant area. Potential assembly lot! Spacious character home in Strathcona neighborhood, has 8 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 2 kitchens, wired as 3 kitchen, possibly rent out as 3 suites, steps away from Chinatown shops & restaurants. Rejuvenate this turn of the Century home with some minor cosmetic work, restore it back to its original beauty. Features high ceiling & hardwood floors. Excellent revenue property currently collecting $4000 rent per month. More details
    Sutton Grp-West Coast (Brdwy)
  • 728 HEATLEY Avenue in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Townhouse for sale in "The Factory" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2212919

    Main Photo: 728 HEATLEY Avenue in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Townhouse for sale in "The Factory" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2212919
    • Living Room
    • Exterior Front
    • Front Entry
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Dining and Living Room
    • Dining and Kitchen
    • Dining Room
    • Dining and Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Downstairs Bathroom
    • Downstairs Bedroom
    • Den
    • Den
    • Master Bedroom
    • Master Bathroom
    • Front Garden
    • Building Complex
    • Floor Plan
    $1,275,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2212919
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,344 sq. ft.
    Welcome to The Factory. This small, 5 unit urban loft town home development designed by Formwerks is the epitome of Strathcona Living at its finest! Situated half a block off McLean Park, this amazing space features open beamed ceilings, reclaimed fir flooring, expansive windows and 16 ft. ceilings in the living room. The recently completed extensive renovations include a beautiful chef's kitchen with top of the line appliances and designer bathroom with heated floors. Large, west facing outdoor patio and courtyard with lush landscaping. Garaged parking included. Approved plans for roof deck. Ask us for more details! More details
    Sutton Grp-West Coast (Brdwy)
  • 1005 150 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "Gastown" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2193426

    Main Photo: 1005 150 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "Gastown" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2193426
    $848,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2193426
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    832 sq. ft.
    owner occupied 1 bedroom + den with a semi private street level garage. Kitchen has quartz countertop and backsplash, large sink and lots of cupboard and storage space. A private use rooftop patio, accessed from inside the unit, boasts a view, electrical outlets and gas BBQ/fireplace hook-up. Also the rooftop common area has a BBQ and picnic table. Hot water and gas are included in strata fee. Includes integrated appliances, access to two bike storage rooms. This strata lot includes use of only 8 available parking spots in a restricted access garage. Walking distance to 3 skytrain stations, Science World, proposed St. Pauls Hospital site, 2 grocery stores, International Village, Olympic Village, Gastown and Chinatown restaurants. Owners are ready to start their retirement plans. More details
    Macdonald Realty
  • 308 189 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "Keefer Block" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2213181

    Main Photo: 308 189 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "Keefer Block" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2213181
    $749,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2213181
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    825 sq. ft.
    This unit is a gorgeous 2 bed/2 bath suite at Keefer Block in red-hot Chinatown, surrounded by some of the best new eateries and hotspots in the city. Solid concrete and brick construction with quality European inspired interiors, combining wood and high gloss lacquered Italian style cabinetry, stone countertops, and full height backsplashes. Amenities include common rooftop patio with an outdoor movie theatre, outdoor kitchen, play area, community gardens, and stunning 360 views of False Creek and the mountains. Rentals and pets okay. Includes storage and parking. More details
    RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside
  • 802 150 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "InGastown" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2213973

    Main Photo: 802 150 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "InGastown" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2213973
    $699,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2213973
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    755 sq. ft.
    InGastown is a boutique building situated in one of Vancouver's most exciting, vibrant, and growing neighbourhoods, offering an abundance of amenities to natural waterfront parks, all within walking distance to the downtown core, Railtown, Chinatown, Yaletown, and Skytrain stations. This 9-storey concrete building boasts a common rooftop deck with outdoor kitchen and BBQ area. The interior is designed by award winning Evoke International Design and offers a modern kitchen with European integrated appliances, polished concrete floors, and quartz countertops. More details
    Oakwyn Realty Ltd.
  • 506 221 UNION Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Condo for sale (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2211543

    Main Photo: 506 221 UNION Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Condo for sale (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2211543
    $605,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2211543
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    625 sq. ft.
    625 s.f. 7 year old concrete, loft-style studio/bedroom, 1 bathroom with open air deck view to city skyline, situated in Mount Pleasant. In-suite laundry and storage. Concrete polished floors, full-size appliances, and composite stone countertops. Bedroom can be enclosed by sliding door system, with semi-transparent glass, for flexibility and privacy. 1 underground parking, one locker, 2 high speed elevators, fully equipped fitness facility and conference/entertainment room with kitchen facilities. Walking distance to Gastown. Ground floor retail. Near public transport and shopping. More details
    Macdonald Realty
  • 708 188 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "188 KEEFER BY WESTBANK" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2212683

    Main Photo: 708 188 KEEFER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "188 KEEFER BY WESTBANK" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2212683
    $599,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2212683
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    634 sq. ft.
    Taking inspiration from the vibrant Chinatown neighbourhood, 188 Keefer was thoughtfully designed by renowned architect, W.T. Leung. This in as new condition 1 Bedroom & Den unit has a great open and efficient floorpan with ensuite cheater bathroom and lots of storage.Property Features: polished granite counter & backsplash, stainless appliances, under-mount sink in-suite laundry& under cabinet lighting. Building Features: nearly 4,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenity space, including an expansive outdoor terrace and indoor lounge with fitness facility, this is home. The indoor lounge features a large dining table and kitchen with a large living room seating area and flat screen TV for entertaining guests. A separate fitness room will facilitate your health and well-being.Maintenance includes heat and hot water. Open House Saturday October 14 2-4pm. More details
    One Percent Realty Ltd.
  • 611 138 E HASTINGS Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SEQUEL 138" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2211624

    Main Photo: 611 138 E HASTINGS Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SEQUEL 138" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2211624
    $588,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2211624
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    737 sq. ft.
    Large one bedroom and den at Sequel 138. Top level end unit with fantastic views of the North Shore Mountains. One of the largest floor plans in the complex with 9' ceilings throughout. Huge open concept master bedroom with more than enough space for a home office. Efficient layout with a great flex space off the entrance that makes this unit a great home or rental property. Modern appliances throughout with one secured parking stall included. Just steps to Downtown, Gastown and Chinatown. Enjoy the communal urban agricultural garden and common outdoor courtyard. More details
    RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside
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Listing information last updated on October 17, 2017
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