It’s been more than two years since I first wrote about the Village on False Creek – the brand new neighbourhood created from the 2010 Olympic Village. And for much of that time, the much-hyped Village was pretty much a ghost town.
After the athletes moved out, few new tenants moved into all those gleaming new condo towers. The original site developer went into receivership. The thriving community promised in all of the real estate brochures never materialized.
But you just knew it was a matter of time. How could a waterfront community situated a stone’s throw from downtown Vancouver not take off?
Well, I think it’s now safe to say that the Village on False Creek has officially turned a corner. It could just be the hottest new neighbourhood in the city. Here’s why. 550 of the 737 units in the mid-rise buildings that make up the neighbourhood have been bought, according to a recent article in the Vancouver Sun. There are people on the streets and new restaurants and shops. And the new sea wall is bustling with walkers and bikers most days.
The latest addition to the community is London Drugs, which announced its grand opening last week. That follows the opening of a glitzy new Urban Fare supermarket earlier this summer. The two anchors join a thriving little retail community in the neighbourhood, which also includes Terra Breads and Legacy Liquor – the largest private liquor store in the entire province (If you’re a craft beer lover, you’ve got to check this place out).
Of course, the gorgeous Creekside Community Centre has been there from the very start – offering Vancouverites a waterfront venue to hit the weights, shoot some hoops or get their downward-facing dog on. And now, the Village on False Creek even has a nightlife option. This summer, the 12,000-square-foot Tap and Barrel opened, serving up dozens of craft beers on tap and offering two levels of patios overlooking False Creek and downtown Vancouver.
For a long time, Olympic Village was Vancouver’s favourite whipping boy – the object of all kinds of ridicule and jokes about mismanagement. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that – after a two year wait – some of the original promise of the neighbourhood is finally being fulfilled.
Have you been to the Village on False Creek (a.k.a. Olympic Village) lately? What do you think of the neighbourhood?
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