The City of North Vancouver has received an award from the BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA) for its redevelopment of The Shipyards in Lower Lonsdale.
During the 2021 BC Economic Development Awards, the City of North Vancouver received the Community Project Award, which recognizes development initiatives that provide economic benefits to a community or region.
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“It’s been probably a decade in the making, and certainly the transformation of Lower Lonsdale has been a couple of decades in the making,” City of North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan tells Daily Hive Urbanized. “That’s obviously really nice to be recognized for all the hard work over the years to make this happen.”
Buchanan says that since The Shipyards opened in 2019, it’s only grown “more and more popular,” noting that it’s one of the largest covered spaces in Canada.
And when it comes to creating economic benefit for the City of North Vancouver, it meant creating people-oriented attraction and building around it.
“When you start to look at people-oriented places, if you look around what’s happening in most cities around the world, you have a key attraction that has businesses around it,” she explains.
“You’ve got different activities, shops, services, restaurants, people places, public spaces. It really attracts people to the area, and when people come, they spend money.”
The Shipyards features over 85,000 sq ft of commercial and community space. In addition to restaurants, cafes, and shops, one of its focal points is an open space that can be used for community events, concerts, and markets. The area also includes an open plaza which typically serves as an ice rink in the winter and a splash park in the summer.
Major tenants of the area include Polygon Gallery, a two-level flagship JOEY restaurant location, Nook Italian restaurant, Jamjar Canteen Lebanese restaurant, Main Street Honey Shoppe, Parlour Ice Cream, Larry’s vegetarian market, and Caffe Artigiano.
Other notable occupants include the Seaside Hotel — a 70-room boutique hotel operated by Executive Hotels & Resorts — and a satellite campus for Capilano University.
Buchanan adds that the City of North Vancouver is beginning to work on master planning for Waterfront Park, another massive open space located to the west of Lower Lonsdale.
“We’ll be looking at doing something quite different because it’s a big park, it’s green space, but we’re looking at how do we make it a great place as well for families to be able to come down.”