Vancouver’s version of Rodeo Drive taking shape on Alberni Street

Another downtown Vancouver neighbourhood is going upscale.

Alberni and Thurlow streets are midway through a major facelift, turning a once normal collection of shops and restaurants into Vancouver’s luxury row.

On a Friday night, it’s not uncommon to see a few Bentleys and Ferraris parked among the Civics and SUVs.

Like so much of what’s happening on the Lower Mainland these days, the redevelopment is being driven by Asian money.

“For the whole two blocks we will see luxury retail,” says Charles Gauthier of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association.

Luxury row on Alberni will encompass the two block stretch from Burrard to Bute, paralleling Robson Street.

On the corner of Thurlow and Alberni, a new office tower is under construction with luxury retail proposed for the lower floors. The developer won’t reveal the future tenants.

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Concord Pacific bought its property across the street six years ago. New tenants include De Beers and Tory Burch.

In addition, three more high-end retailers are coming to the street.

“I see an emerging luxury district,” says Megan Grayston of Concord Pacific.

With up to 30 shops and restaurants, Alberni could be our version of Rodeo Drive in L.A., where the rich and trendy never shy away from a price tag.

There are no knock-offs available here, only expensive originals that a privileged few can afford.

The shops will mainly cater to locals, immigrants and tourists — mostly from Asia — looking for one-stop luxury shopping.

– with files from Brian Coxford, Global News




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