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Retail Storefronts should be for retail only, NOT offices!

by Catalina,

Downtown Vancouver has grown to the point where I believe Zoning rules are now necessary. Retail spaces need to be for retail shops, food and salons; there must be a moratorium on any further renting of retail storefronts as office space. I look at old pictures of Main St as a bustling hub of retail with much walking traffic and activity, but now, we have wastelands of blocks where the beautiful ground floor retail storefronts are taken up by lawyers and insurance hawkers and real estate offices, etc. These businesses do not maintain the outside of their storefronts either, they close the blinds and stack papers and other garbage against the inside windows. The neglected unused entryways are populated by drug addicts and the homeless, human waste and defecation is not cleaned up by the occupants - I have had to lodge complaints repeatedly on this disgusting issue. It's depressing, it's ugly, it's unsafe, and there is absolutely no reason for it. There are more than plenty upstairs offices available in the area, and the walkability of Main St has been utterly destroyed. My retail business is the ONLY one on our block, with 6 other storefronts being used as offices. I was PROMISED by the landlord and management company that as they came available they would be rented to retail, but in the 5 years since I signed my lease, not one of them was - all offices, because they say they can get more cash from offices. This, while they continue to devalue the entire neighborhood, destorying the beauty and walkability and ultimate value. This is why I suggest Zoning rules, rather than just politely asking the landlords or management companies. I have tried that. They lie, they go for the quick buck and not the big picture. Their motivation is a cash grab rather than the health of the neighborhood.

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This community engagement opportunity has ended.

Ruslango1 almost 3 years ago
Couldn’t agree more
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