More on Commercial Drive Vacancies

On the last Changes on the Drive edition, I posted a graph of the storefront vacancies on the Drive for the past two years. A commenter noted that if I were to start the graph from an earlier date, I would get a more defined trend toward more vacancies.  The commenter was quite right, of course, and here is the graph for the last five years:

There appears to have been a rash of closures in the first few months of 2015, bringing the number of vacancies to a new level. That new equilibrium has, more of less, been maintained since then.

I would note, just for the sake of consistent methodology, that the retail storefronts in the 2200-block east side were not counted as vacant during the rebuilding of the Marquee building. They began to be occupied in July 2014 after which time the relevant stores were shown as vacant.

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2 Responses to More on Commercial Drive Vacancies

  1. Grandview Citizen says:

    Something has changed on Commercial Drive that has created the right conditions for this sharp retail decline. I’ve heard from a couple of merchants that it’s a combination of city tax increases and highly aggressive rent-seeking from building owners, presumably encouraged by realtors and their ilk.

    Thanks for updating the graph. Good data.

  2. jakking says:

    One “something” is the change from a residential neighbourhood shopping street to a “destination” street. This has been encouraged by the local BIA since the 1990s and can be seen in the increase from about 20 restaurants to almost 100 in that time. Those additional 80 cafes have displaced hardware, clothing, and similar stores that supported the residents. Commercial Drive’s “gentrification” is more than 20 years old now.

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