The association representing merchants in Vanier is throwing open the doors to new investments in the hopes of speeding along the area’s development.
Mark Kaluski is the chair of the Quartier Vanier Business Improvement Area.
By Jacob Serebrin
“Vanier is on the cusp of a major gentrification,” says Mark Kaluski, chair of the Quartier Vanier business improvement area. He points to a number of new developments, including two condo towers that already under construction.
Between construction projects already underway, proposed developments currently going through the city’s approval process and a few major redevelopments, Mr. Kaluski says that over $795 million has been invested, or is scheduled to be invested, in the area.
He says that figure comes from Barry Nabatian, director of the market research division at Shore Tanner & Associates.
Last Wednesday night, Mr. Kaluski met with local business and property owners as well as investors in an effort to drum up more interest in Vanier.
“Vanier has a bit of a reputation problem and a lot of people have written it off,” Mr. Kaluski says. “Here’s a chance to give it another look.”
According to Mr. Kaluski, there’s a confluence of factors that are changing the neighbourhood for the better. In addition to new developments, he says the community association and the BIA have been working hard to reduce street crime and clean up the neighbourhood.
He says there are a number of other signs that show things are looking up for the neighbourhood. Mr. Kaluski says Vanier’s population is growing, average incomes are up and there are more jobs in the area.
He says commercial rents are also on the increase.
While he’s heard some talk that Vanier could be the next Westboro, that’s not what Mr. Kaluski want’s to see. He says he hopes the area keeps its “unique” character with cool restaurants and a high concentration of artists.