Every city has that one street, a street filled with pedestrians, shopping and of course very high rents. Montreal has rue Sainte-Catherine, NYC has Fifth Avenue (among others) and we in Vancouver have Robson Street. Love it or hate it, it’s the street most people outside the city associate with Vancouver. It is our most famous street and in the coming year Robson Street will see a revival of sorts, as new, highly coveted, retailers set to open up shop. In the new year retailers such as J. Crew, Apple, Forever 21 will be adding to the retail mix, plus a few other surprises.
As I walked along Robson the other night (I avoid it during the day as it’s far too crowded with slow walkers), I noticed that Tommy Hilfiger has shut its doors. This, as we reported in late 2011, will make way for J.Crew. Vancouver’s first of possibly two J.Crew locations in the near future (another one is believed to be opening at Pacific Centre).
A crane has been hovering over Robson Street (between Burrard and Thurlow), that crane is for the new Forever 21. Forever 21 has been under construction for months and is slated for a spring 2012 opening. The store will be massive and the city of Vancouver’s first. Right next door to Forever 21 will be Vancouver’s Apple Flagship store, only the second flagship location in Canada. The highly talked and rumoured about Apple flagship is finally coming. No word yet if it will be two floors or not. Furthermore, there are rumours that when that opens the Pacific Centre location will be closed. Only time will tell.
Then there are the many rumours about the soon to be old HMV spot. Rumours are circulating that Simons (Quebec fashion retailer) or Urban Outfitters are looking to take the space. Only time will tell.
In the past year rents have come down from the highs just before the Olympics. However, Robson Street still remains Canada’s third most expensive street and it looks to continue it’s role as the premier street in Vancouver.