The recent renovation of JJ Bean at 6th and Commercial is a great example of the sensibility and energy that is going into revitalizing both the commercial and residential buildings in this neighbourhood.
Commercial Drive boasts the second largest inventory of heritage buildings in the City of Vancouver. This is one reason you see so much movie location shooting happening on, and around, the Drive.
Prosperous Shopping District
The 22 blocks of Commercial Drive from Adanac to East 13th Avenue, about 1.3 miles long, are home to nearly 350 shops and restaurants. The majority of these are single-location, owner-operated, making our shoping, dining, produce and entertainment a totally unique experience that you'll find only on Commercial Drive. Our businesses generate an estimated $300 million in sales annually, on about 1 million square feet of retail floor space.
The neighbourhood is a destination shopping district for all of Vancouver as well as a vibrant market for the surrounding neighbourhood. The patronage of neighbourhood residents was well illustrated during the Vancouver Transit strike of 2001. The strike lasted 4 months and had a negative impact on retail sales in all Vancouver neighbourhoods with the exception of Commercial Drive, where merchants reported a modest increase in business.
Why? Primarily because this is a pedestrian-first neighbourhood. Urban planners say small fridges make for good cities and Commercial Drive is a thriving example of this urban village attitude. Residents are more inclined to shop daily or just head out to the Drive for a bite to eat.
Great people watching; great shopping; great neighbourhood!