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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.
  • 764 E PENDER Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE House for sale (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2189039

    Main Photo: 764 E PENDER Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE House for sale (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2189039
    $1,650,000
    Residential Detached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2189039
    Bedrooms:
    3
    Bathrooms:
    3
    Floor Area:
    1,711 sq. ft.
    Modern and efficient design with loads of style and flow. A must see fully renovated house in a Prime Strathcona location. Renovated top to bottom. Massive master bedroom with skylights. Scraped engineered hardwood on the top two floors and polished concrete on the lower. Smart wired for sound, AV, security and smart locks. This place is dialled!. 3bd 3ba 3 level house. Complete with a self-contained high ceiling 1 bd suite, Ideal for long or short term rentals and/ or the perfect office or creative space. Lots of Storage and deck space. Views of the North Shore mountains. Private front and back yard. Too many features to list. Don’t miss seeing this one. **On Demand Radiant Heat - In floor and ceiling. More details
    RE/MAX Select Realty
  • 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)
  • 901 219 E GEORGIA Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Condo for sale in "THE FLATS" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2196388

    Main Photo: 901 219 E GEORGIA Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Condo for sale in "THE FLATS" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2196388
    • Kitchen
    • Patio
    • Kitchen
    • Dining Room
    • Dining Room
    • Living Room
    • Living/Dining
    • Living/Dining
    • Patio
    • Patio
    • Master Bedroom
    • Bathroom
    • Bedroom
    • Den
    • Bathroom
    • Shower
    • Rooftop Patio
    • Rooftop Patio/View
    • View
    • Exterior Front
    $1,550,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2196388
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,424 sq. ft.
    UNIQUE. MODERN. FUNKY. Welcome to this stunning “private” 2 – level Penthouse view home featuring 2 bedrooms plus den, 2 bathrooms and 3 amazing outdoor spaces, including a large private rooftop patio with 360 degree views! The interior design was crafted for a modern European feel with minimalist details. Inside you’ll find streamlined built-in storage and concrete floors throughout. High ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and multiple exposures make for airy, sunlit living. In the kitchen modern fixtures combine with integrated ‘Fisher & Paykel’ cooking appliances and a ‘Blomberg’ dual panel fridge & freezer. The home includes 1 parking & 1 storage. Located in the heart of Chinatown and only steps from the cities hippest new restaurants & lounges! OPEN HOUSE CANCELLED. More details
    Sotheby's Int'l Realty Canada
  • 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.
    Built in 2016, this Penthouse Suite towers over the edge of Historic Gastown. Offering a modem floor plan, a rooftop patio to die for and IT'S OWN EXCLUSIVE SECURED GROUND LEVEL PARKING STALL you may now begin to settle in to what is awesome about downtown Vancouver living!! A well equipped integrated kitchen highlights a bright, spacious floor plan. A Master bedroom with an ensuite, a den and an open staircase up completes this unique character design. Pop the hatch/skylight at the top of the stairs and step out onto your own private courtyard deck with panoramic views and access to an additional adjacent space, seating and use of a gas grill for your entertaining pleasure. Take advantage of this rare value priced penthouse opportunity. More details
    Macdonald Realty
  • 206 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2197330

    Main Photo: 206 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2197330
    $738,800
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2197330
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    996 sq. ft.
    Imagine your spacious 2 bd, 2 bth, almost 1000sf open plan corner suite, with sliding Juliette balcony doors, floor to ceiling windows & funky frosted glass sliding wall allows tons of light and breeze. Wonderfully decorated with freshly painted walls and scraped smooth ceilings, warm wide plank flooring and upgraded sleek Euro-style linear kitchen. Insuite laundry, bonus flex/office, secure PARKING, large locker, bike storage, Pets and Rentals ok. Boutique concrete SMART bldg w/common patio, gym, wkshp, mtg rm and Caretaker John keeping immaculately clean, but Maint Fees low. Located in trendy Gastown where great shopping & restaurants are only steps away = Walk-Score 98/Shopping 100! FIRST PUBLIC OPENS Sat/Sun 19/20 from 2-4. More details
    RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside
  • 204 718 MAIN Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Condo for sale in "GINGER" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2187306

    Main Photo: 204 718 MAIN Street in Vancouver: Mount Pleasant VE Condo for sale in "GINGER" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2187306
    $599,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2187306
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    677 sq. ft.
    Spacious 677 sq ft 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo w/rare FULL LENGTH BALCONY at the boutique GINGER building in a prime Mount Pleasant location. Newer building with great curb appeal. Very functional floorplan w/open kitchen leading to the living room and bedroom w/ sliding glass doors. Large, modern finish bathroom w/ access directly from your bedroom. The living space features a wall of windows and sliding glass door that open up onto your 16 ft by 7 ft private covered patio! Walk everywhere, Main St. location short walking distance to Downtown, Science World, Olympic Village, Seawall, Gastown & more. The BEST cafes for your morning coffee/snack. Investors & Urban lovers, this is it! Bonus: 1 Full Size Parking Stall. Book your viewing today ! More details
    Prompton Real Estate Serv.Inc.
  • 414 138 E HASTINGS Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SEQUEL 138" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2192381

    Main Photo: 414 138 E HASTINGS Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SEQUEL 138" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2192381
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Bedroom
    • Bedroom
    • Bedroom
    • Bathroom
    • Bathroom
    $365,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2192381
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    448 sq. ft.
    Affordable 1 bdrm home is walking distance to Gastown, Chinatown, Strathcona and Tinseltown. This new home comes with a 2-5-10 New Home Warranty as this 97 unit condo was completed in December 2015. Features incl/integrated Bloomberg fridge, washer/dryer, stove & microwave hood fan combo, 9ft ceilings, high gloss European style cabinetry, and laminate floors. There is a garden/farm area where you can rent a plot and grow vegetables. Also, there is courtyard with harvest table and the open exterior walkways give this property a unique look and feel. Purchaser must make under $85K yearly to be eligible to purchase, call listing agent for details. Low maintenance and property taxes. 1 storage locker included. Love the furniture? Buy it with the apartment, make moving in easy! More details
    Sutton Grp-West Coast (Brdwy)
  • 206 138 E HASTINGS Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2185842

    Main Photo: 206 138 E HASTINGS Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2185842
    $338,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2185842
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    433 sq. ft.
    An efficient 1 bedroom home steps from Chinatown, Downtown, and Gastown. 9 ft ceilings, modern layout and still under 2-5-10 New Building Warranty. Purchaser/s must make $85,000 or less to qualify for purchase. The property has communal area, urban farm, and commercial units on ground floor. Was previously earning $1400 a month in rental income. More details
    Macdonald Commercial R.E.Serv.
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Listing information last updated on August 20, 2017
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