Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rize in Mount Pleasant

Over the years there have been a great deal of conversation (and debate) regarding the now approved multi-story condominium in Mount Pleasant that will be developed by Rize Alliance.  After withdrawing their initial plan to build a 26 story building due to negative feedback from the public, Rize Alliance received approval from the city to build a 19 story building on April of 2012.  They have gone back to the drawing board to put something together that will make everyone happy, which will not be an easy feat.

Mount Pleasant is hands down my favourite neighborhood in Vancouver.  Sure I love Commercial Drive, Downtown, and Gastown but Main Street has my heart.

I've done a couple of interviews with two of my favourite consignment stores, Front and Co. and C'est La Vie and these blog posts are filled with testaments of people who have a passion for what they do and they are among the many unique individuals who contribute to Mount Pleasant's character.

While other developments have gone up in this area such as 3333 Main, The Stella and the Sophia, I was either not fully impressed with the design of the building or was turned off by their location.  When it comes to Main Street, I want to see the developer bring in social housing (both for families and single residents), green space for community gardens, space that will house a daycare, and perhaps a grocery store Co-Op.  I'd also love to see space for a Farmer Market.
The development that will be built by Rize Alliance has been met with opposition from many groups, including the Residents Association of Mount Pleasant (RAMP).  Members are concerns about the ill effects that gentrification will have on their beloved neighborhood. 

But Rize Alliance have been involved in some projects that show some promise that they understand part of what makes Mount Pleasant so special.  Since April 2011, The Rize Pop-Up Shop has housed local artists and designers to showcase and sell their work to the public. 

Notable occupants include Ion Magazine and their network of artists and Sandra Todd of Velveteen Vintage, who gave a handful of youths (age 14-18) the opportunity to flex their creative muscles and gain some valuable business acumen through their exposure to the retail world.

Admittedly, I have my eyes on this development and have been for quite some time because, ultimately, I would love to live here.  I'm a condo person and I'm excited to see if Rize Alliance will be able to strike that balance between urban living and Mount Pleasant charm in the design of this new project.  Mount Pleasant isn't just made of art and artists, it's a community of individuals who care deeply about the social, economic, and environmental impact that such a large scale development will have on their land.

What are your thoughts?

You may also be interested in:
News Flash - C'est La Vie Consignment Boutique
News Flash - Front & Company

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