Thursday, November 12, 2009

South Granville Struggles

For those interested in the plight and fortunes of small business in Vancouver, yesterday's cover story in the Courier will be an eye-opener.

So far, 16 businesses in the neighbourhood between the Granville Bridge and West 16th Avenue have closed this year.

High rents and even higher city taxes will do it every time.

Two inevitable consequences follow.

Empty stores and the ultimate arrival of Big Chains, which rob neighbourhoods of any semblance of individuality. Think Robson Strasse of several decades back to Robson today of the Gap, Banana Republic, and Roots . A big yawn if you're not a tourist in a group from Japan.

The Stanley Theatre (Arts Club) continues to be a major and important anchor and draw for the street, and while their work isn't entirely my cup of tea, they are a boon for everybody - actors, singers, directors, musicians, writers, shop owners, audiences and shoppers.

Has anyone considered adding some competition?


Anonymous said...

It's not only the semblance of individuality that has suffered, but also variety. Over the last two to three years we've lost two grocery stores, a butcher shop and a bakery. The dry cleaner/laundromat left years ago when the Shaughnessy Mansions buildings were redeveloped. Thankfully Frank's Barber Shop found a place to relocate a few blocks down from its former location.

Jeff Taylor said...

on the whole, South Granville has catered to an up-scale cliental. I really believe that the downturn in the area is a real sign of the extent of the hit that the upper class of not only Vancouver, but the world's well heeled has taken. Here in Toronto, I've heard whispers of some corporations that are seriously considering not renewing their season tickets for various professional teams for the first time in decades. Many, many wealthy people lost huge amounts of money when the real estate and stock markets crashed, and the ones that still have their money, are being extra careful with it these days. Just a thought on the shrinkage of South Granville.