The Stanley Park District in downtown Vancouver is being flagged as an up-and-coming area within local real estate. Adjacent to Stanley Park, the sub-area has the elegant appeal of Coal Harbour and the community atmosphere of the West End.
Defined as the area west of Denman Street, the district is a subsection of the Coal Harbour neighbourhood, according to the real estate agents who spoke to Glacier Media.
The area is seeing renewal with notable developments like 1818 Alberni St. by Landa Global Properties, 1515 Alberni St. by Bosa Properties and Westbank’s Alberni building which is designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma.
Many of the new developments in the area are marketing proximity to Stanley Park while still having the downtown lifestyle, according to Jacqueline Adler, a real estate agent with Sid + Jacqueline Real Estate Group.
“There’s the benefits of having a quieter lifestyle and more of a community feel. West of Denman is one of the most special parts of downtown,” she said.
“You have the tree-lined streets, you get to know your neighbours. It's a wonderful walking area, but you still have close proximity to downtown, to recreation, to all the great independent shops and restaurants along Denman and then all the excitement and activity around Davie.”
In 2013, the City of Vancouver approved new zoning to update the West End Community Plan, allowing for taller developments to be built along the Georgia Street and Alberni Street corridor.
“Having that proximity to Coal Harbour and Stanley Park and the ability to go to build towers at that height was pretty attractive,” said Jeff Skinner, senior vice-president of development at Bosa Properties.
At the time of publication, 1515 Alberni is over 50 per cent sold, enough for the financing and construction of the project, Skinner said.
In addition to the developments on Alberni, there are three empty lots located near Georgia and Denman Street, according to Chantal Vignola, a real estate agent with Century 21 In Town Realty. She described the area as “coming into its own.”
“Coal Harbour is not as fresh and new, Stanley Park district will be,” Vignola said. “It will be a really wonderful experience, to pop out on Alberni Street or Georgia Street and be surrounded by all of this ultra modern, cool, new architecture and then be able to cross the street, and bam, you're in one of the best parks in the world.”
In general, the housing inventory in the area was built a decade or more ago, according to Adler. She said that this can offer some opportunities for redevelopment which will diversify the housing supply in the area.
As of mid-May, there are no units available in the area under 10 years old that aren't listed as pre-sale or pre-construction. Between 10 and 20 years, there are two listings, according to Alder.
“That just tells me that something like [1818 Alberni St.] is offering an opportunity for people that want a little bit more luxury feel, air conditioning, newer construction and would love to live in the area, but aren't seeing a product right now that fits,” she said.
Adler believes that retail and recreational activity will increase alongside more development in the area.
For buyers, it can be advantageous to focus on a specific area of downtown, Vignola said. The breakdown of downtown’s neighbourhoods is too broad, with four overarching areas: the West End, Yaletown, Coal Harbour and downtown. But, Vigonola has identified up to 13 sub-areas of downtown.
“As the city continues to evolve and be developed, I think it's important to break down these neighbourhoods into smaller little districts, and really sell that as part of selling the real estate,” she said. “The beach district price point is a lot different than the heritage area of Yaletown. It's $1,800 versus $1,000, it's a big difference. So, to throw it all into one neighbourhood just doesn't make sense anymore with all of the developments that we've got going on in our city.”