Vancouver City Councillor

Punjabi Market’s woes cloud strong year for Vancouver business districts

The 2013 property value assessment report, presented to council today, confirms that Vancouver’s business districts are doing well — the BC Assessment Authority has “not observed any abnormal retail vacancy issues” — with the exception of the troubled Punjabi Market.

While Vancouver commercial land values were generally very stable, the Main and 49th shopping district saw values drop 15 percent last year as East Indian families and businesses continue to shift to Surrey.

Elsewhere, however, there are signs that Vancouver will continue to be the regional job hub for a long time to come. C-Class office building values are up 20 to 40 percent.

Bentall 5, for example, saw its value rise 35 percent between its sale in 2009 and resale in 2012. That’s why a new wave of office construction is hitting the downtown core.

Not clear from the report, but coming to council separately, is an update on business assessments along the Broadway corridor, the second-largest business district in the province and a candidate for rapid transit investment.