A news release yesterday: “After 34 years on Commercial Drive, the People’s Co-op Bookstore must close its doors. Our last day of business will be January 31, 2018… We are saddened by this turn of events, and disappointed that our efforts to keep the People’s Co-op Bookstore going have fallen short. The store is not closing because the community hasn’t supported it. The bookstore has probably never been busier. The last five years have shown us that the Co-op fulfills a number of vital roles in East Vancouver.”
This is not necessarily a bad landlord/brave indie story. Although the store had a very wide range of titles once you ploughed your way in, it has consistently featured hard leftist titles in the window (lots of Soviet stuff, e.g.) and in the prime space just inside the door that reduced its potential clientele.
There is also the storefront design – there are two storeys of apartments above and the shops are indented about 6 feet from the sidewalk – a kind of bricky loggia. This gloomspace between the sidewalk and the front door reduces the impact of anything they put in the windows. It is the only building on The Drive designed like this.
I don’t know whether a rent increase was the tipping point, but the recent demise of neighbourhood standards like Wonderbucks and The Little Nest indicate a trend. And it’s impossible not to notice the expensive German sedan that just happens to be in the Google street view above. Grandview is gentrifying.
December 10, 2017