Vancouver Public Library's West Point Grey branch moving to new permanent location

May 16 2023, 12:35 am

The decades-old Vancouver Public Library (VPL) branch in the heart of the West Point Grey retail village is making a permanent relocation one block to the west.

VPL announced today the last day of operations for the existing location at 4480 W 10th Avenue — near the southeast corner of the intersection of Sasamat Street and West 10th Avenue, next to the HSBC branch and 99 B-Line bus stop — will be May 30, 2023.

Early this summer, the West Point Grey branch will reopen mid-block at 4566 West 10th Avenue, within a 5,400 sq ft retail unit previously occupied by a Scotiabank branch until the pandemic. This new location is immediately across the street from the large vacant site that was previously the Safeway grocery store.

According to VPL, the new location offers library users more spaces to relax, study, and enjoy the collection, and improved programming space for children, teenagers, and adults.

The replacement location is not only larger, but also relatively newer, constructed in 1992 with tenant improvements.

The existing location’s building was built in 1977. It is not clear what will happen to the existing space after it is vacated by VPL, which told Daily Hive Urbanized this location is not owned by the City, and the lease for the property is now ending, with the property owner seeking to find a new tenant.

The new branch location is scheduled to open on June 27, 2023.

Relocation to the block to the west:

4566 West 10th Avenue Vancouver Public Library West Point Grey branch new location

Vancouver Public Library’s West Point Grey branch location is moving to 4566 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

Existing location:

vancouver public library west point grey 4480 W 10th Avenue f

The existing location of Vancouver Public Library’s West Point Grey branch at 4480 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

New location:

4566 West 10th Avenue Vancouver Public Library West Point Grey branch f2

The new location of Vancouver Public Library’s West Point Grey branch at 4566 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

During the temporary branch closure to allow for the transition between locations, loan periods for books and other library materials and pickup times for items on hold at this branch will be extended. As usual, library items borrowed at this branch and are due to be returned after the closure may be returned to any VPL branch.

The relocation of the West Point Grey branch to a larger space is made possible by the retail district’s exceedingly high vacancies — a trend that first began in the 2000s.

As previously reported by Daily Hive Urbanized in 2018, Point Grey’s dwindling population — especially the decreasing number of families — has contributed to the decline of the retail district, with businesses feeding on an ever-shrinking pool of local residents for their survival.

As well, the University of British Columbia’s new on-campus retail, dining, and service offerings over the past two decades — beginning with University MarketPlace and then Wesbrook Village, which is anchored by a major Save-On-Foods grocery store — have allowed students and residents to remain on campus for their needs. Prior to the 2001 construction of University MarketPlace, West Point Grey Village was the closest commercial retail and dining hub near the campus.

The 2018 closure of the Safeway, which was the area’s anchor retail attraction, led to significantly reduced foot traffic to the retail district.

With the Safeway grocery store closure compounded with the effects of the pandemic, many more businesses have closed in more recent years, with the municipal government’s Spring 2022 storefront count showing the area had a 17.5% vacancy — by far the third highest vacancy out of 22 business improvement association districts across Vancouver.

In March 2022, developer BentallGreenOak revealed their redevelopment proposal for the three-acre Safeway site, entailing four buildings up to 14 storeys, including 530 secured rental homes, a 38,000 sq ft replacement grocery store (substantially larger than the previous Safeway), and commercial retail/restaurant units. However, a formal rezoning application has yet to be submitted.

If approved, the redevelopment could help revive the retail district by adding over 1,000 residents, re-establishing the anchor retail attraction of a major grocery store, and providing new attractive retail/restaurant space opportunities.

4545 West 10th Avenue BentallGreenOak

Preliminary concept for the redevelopment of the former Safeway site at 4545 West 10th Avenue in Vancouver’s West Point Grey Village. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership/BentallGreenOak)

4545 West 10th Avenue Vancouver West Point Grey Village BentallGreenOak

Preliminary concept for the redevelopment of the former Safeway site at 4545 West 10th Avenue in Vancouver’s West Point Grey Village. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership/BentallGreenOak)

4545 West 10th Avenue Vancouver West Point Grey Village BentallGreenOak

Preliminary concept for the redevelopment of the former Safeway site at 4545 West 10th Avenue in Vancouver’s West Point Grey Village. (Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership/BentallGreenOak)

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