Waterfront Art Gallery

New Art Gallery coming to Lower Lonsdale    Lower Lonsdale has something very exciting to look forward to in the near future with the announcement of a new art gallery planned for completion in 2016.

    Art Gallery director and curator Reid Shier says the project is on schedule but that the project hasn’t quite been given the go ahead just yet as there are still a few wrinkles to iron out with the city of North Vancouver.

    The project is estimated to run a cost of $15 million with $2.5 million of that, along with the land itself, to be provided by the city itself. Shier is also hopeful that the provincial and federal government will also help fund the project.

    The proposal will be approximately 23,000 square feet and located on what is currently city-owned land at the bottom of Lonsdale Avenue. There will be 4000 square feet of exhibition space with 16-foot ceilings with ample windows for plenty of natural light. There is another approximately 2200 square foot area that can either be used for banquets and events, or made into further exhibition space. The site will also include a retail shop and café, and the city of North Vancouver is pushing for more retail space as well.

    Furthermore, North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale waterfront includes other proposed changes included a hotel expansion, new restaurants, and the addition of a new park complete with an outdoor skating rink. This proposal has been put forth by Colliers International who wants to further integrate retail space into the space adjacent to the Lonsdale Quay.

    There are some concerns, however, among local homeowners who are worried about how such development might impact North Vancouver Real Estate.  Some homeowners want to see this city-owned land going strictly towards parks and public facilities, and not simply retail development. Additionally, anyone who has spent time in Lower Lonsdale knows that parking can be a challenge, and a lack of options can quickly lead to unwanted parking tickets. Increased walkability

    In order to combat the increased volume of traffic contributing to the already suffering parking capacity, Collier’s proposal includes a large underground parking lot which should help alleviate some of the congestion, as well as some of the headaches.

    The Lonsdale Quay already represents an iconic part of the community, one which attracts tourism for the city but also allows for further retail options for local North Vancouver residents. Many are comparing the new proposal to that of Granville Island, a very successful attraction for visitors and residents alike. Having a similar location in our own backyard seems like a very positive addition to the community.

    Lower Lonsdale has seen many changes over the years, and this trend is unlikely to stop anytime in the immediate future. With so many residents of the North Shore considering moving to this area, for the convenience of being within walking distance to so many shops and restaurants, and the ability to get downtown so quickly on the Seabus, there will continue to be a strong demand for the area.

    With the densifying that the area has seen, as well as the gentrification of older buildings and industrial space, the population in this area is growing. As population grows, there exist greater opportunities for businesses to thrive, and as such in order to facilitate this growth a city must plan accordingly to have sufficient infrastructure in place when the demand, well, demands it.

    As long as the city and public input keep new development in line by ensuring a swift and seamless integration into the community, new retail and community space is a positive thing for Real Estate in North Vancouver, especially with new plans by the City of North Vancouver to increase the density of residential development.

Photo courtesy of the Vancouver Sun.