I was inspired by a news article to make a short video on high rents and gentrification in gastown. It is a dialogue between a bookstore owner and a landlord.
The article Gastown up for Grabs (July 14, 2010) from Westender.com was about an independent bookstore that had to move out of gastown due to increased rent and decreased foot traffic. Catherine Lough Haggquis, owner of Biz Books on 302 West Cordova Street, has to relocate her business to White Rock. The Westender article also includes an interview with Dana Colburn, co-owner of Metropolitan Home, a retro furniture shop that was previously located on Hastings Street but is now in Kitsilano. Other points of views from merchants in the neighbourhood are quoted too.
In brief, gastown is booming and people are scrambling to lock up commercial space. Retail rent has increased by 200-300% and small independent businesses that can’t pay must move. Speculation on gastown’s future pull is reconfiguring the neighbourhood: only high-revenue businesses can afford to stay or move in.
The video also refers to the National Post’s interest in the Woodward’s hot tub. Those links are below. I had a hoot making this video. Maybe I’ll make videos on a regular basis.
The National Post series mentioned in the video is The Woodward’s Project and these are the two articles about the building’s amenities: