The ever interesting Price Tags blog had a short post last week titled "North Van City Waterfront: Persistence Pays." It offers a very upbeat assessment of all of the changes down around Lonsdale Quay.
The City of North Vancouver has been working on the transformation of the Lower Lonsdale properties at the waterfront for … well, it seems like decades. After all, Lonsdale Quay and the Seabus Terminal opened in the late 1970s – but the lands to the east retained their industrial purpose, with little change to the property at the very foot of Lonsdale. There was no there there.
Now, with the development of the Versatile lands and the arrival of the Polygon Gallery, it’s coming together.Reading that got me thinking that the City has done a pretty good job of building a successful "town centre" in Lower Lonsdale, with the requisite density, restaurants, shopping, and the upcoming move of the Presentation House Gallery. (Which I gather will sadly be renamed after the developer, Polygon.)
The District has "town centers" in the works at Lynn Valley, the bottom of Mountain Highway, and the foot of Capilano Road. I wonder what lessons can be learned from the City.
At a minimum I'd argue that density alone isn't enough. You need varied shopping options, entertainment or cultural options, easy transit connections, and hopefully some sense of the history of the neighborhood.
More details on the Lower Lonsdale developments here.