Changes On the Drive #57

Another glorious — and hot — day for a walk along the Drive during this splendid early summer!

Down in the south end, 2240 (vacant 9 months) and 2245 (19 months) Commercial are still vacant.

Not much else changed down there. But there were long line ups for brunch at Tangent Cafe, and the elms along 6th look as magnificent as ever (even though one was severely damaged in storms earlier this year and needs to be replaced).

At 1850, I finally noticed that the MoGo store closed on 8th March (they are moving strictly on-line apparently), so the space has been vacant for 2 months.

MoGo May 2016

There are strong rumours that Wonderbucks at 1803 is closing. they are, I am told, unable to continue with the extraordinary rent of $29,000 per month!  That would be a great shame if they left, and that large corner site must be considered ripe for development.

The three sites at Il Mercato are still vacant: Strawberry Bakery (16 months), Jenny Kwan’s old office (4 months), and the previous Lombardo’s2Go storefront (3 months).

The apartments above the Libra Room still seem to be unoccupied; that’s been quite a long time now.

In the 1600-block on the west-side, Kalena’s still has its southernmost storefront sheeted with a for lease sign (3 months vacant). However, a visit to the agent’s site shows that the entire 4,000 sq.ft of Kalena’s is offered for lease — at a monthly rental of $22,000.

Angelo Papa’s Tailoring store is still operating at 1501 Commercial. For months now there has been a sign in the building regarding a change of use permit which involved one of the few cannabis dispensary businesses that survived the Board of Variance’s first cull. However, I notice the sign has now gone. Not sure if that means anything. Anyway, I didn’t see any evidence that any of the cannabis dispensaries on the Drive are closing even though they were given a deadline of 29th April.

Still vacant are 1340 (14 months), 1303 (2 months), 1268 (35 months), and 1108 (25 months). They are joined by the sad demise of Sophie’s Pet shop at 1280 which closed in April.

Joe’s Cafe at 1150 looks a lot better now that the black plastic which has covered the windows of the northern half for several months has been removed.

Joes May 2016

As many of you will know, the venerable Florida building at the corner of Commercial & Napier was sold a year or so ago and refurbished; Moja Coffee took over the storefront at 1102.  Now, there is a development application to build a five-storey apartment building on the parking lot at the rear of the building.

Upper image credit: Penny Street

Upper image credit: Penny Street

Even on the face of it seems a ridiculous proposal. It would be well over the height limit for that site and, of course, we are in the Community Plan process which is supposed to eliminate spot rezoning at this time.  This is one worth watching.

Across the street, Choices are still working on the storefront at 1035 Commercial into which they will expand when it is done.

A few days ago I heard a nasty rumour that Sunrise Pizza at 949 had closed its doors.  However, walking by there today, I read a sign on the door which said it was closed for staff holidays only until 6th May.  Phew!

Sunrise

Unfortunately, at the northern end of the walk, 902 Commercial is till vacant (12 months). Hard to imagine it is taking that long for Robin’s Pharmacy to expand into that space.

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