Woodward’s Condos On Sale Soon

I spent some time looking at the Website for the “W” tonight. No, not the spiffy hotel chain — the downtown condo complex rising out of the old Woodward’s building. After a long development struggle, 500 condos in that building go on sale starting April 22.

The Website’s really snazzy — but a little sparse on photos of the building itself (note to folks at work: it plays music). The Vancouver Housing Market Blog writes fairly negatively about the development, pointing out that the price per square foot is too high compared with other downtown neighbourhoods.

I agree, considering that last fall, I didn’t feel very safe walking in that neighbourhood after 9 p.m. even though I was with a friend. Sure, there are streets near there that aren’t as bad, but overall, I wonder who’s going to end up living in that complex — will they be the buyers, or renters paying the mortgage for foreign investors, or…? How are they going to interact with the folks living in the area now?

Whatever the ultimate fate of the neighborhood, and whatever happens to condo prices between now and move-in day 2 years from now, the immediate money is in wristbands — if you have one of the wristbands that lets you be in the first hour of appointments, ads on Craigslist were asking $2,000 and up. That’s not bad for a little piece of plastic, and you don’t have to wait until 2008 to cash out.

1 Comment so far

  1. Ryan Cousineau (unregistered) on April 16th, 2006 @ 11:59 pm

    Success or failure, the obvious aim of this project can be summed up in two painful neologisms: proactive gentrification.

    As a big fan of the idea that environment influences behaviour, I favour this kind of encroachment on the Downtown Eastside.

    The biggest problem with the Downtown Eastside right now is the way it encroaches on perfectly good neighbourhoods (I’m talking about Chinatown) that were there first.

    After poking through a few of the comments on the Housing Market blog, I think the question is why people are lining up to pay premium prices to part of a gentrification experiment. But then again, I live in a nice boring suburb, over 20 minutes’ drive from the Steam Clock.

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