Formerly BC’s capital, the city has been working hard to get back in the spotlight.
And it looks like that hard work is paying off, because New West might be taking on a new ultra-cool label as Metro Vancouver’s next Gastown.
Or at least developer Robert Fung, the president and founder of The Salient Group, thinks so. They developer is pioneering the revitalization of the Trapp and Holbrook buildings in the 600-block of Columbia Street.
Fung sees a lot of parallels between Gastown and New Westminster’s historic downtown core. Like the incorporation of residential and commercial space, an increase in density, and exciting new projects like the New West Pier Park and civic centre.
“A lot of older cities have historic downtowns and in almost every single case the city grows away from the downtown,” said Fung. “The money leaves that area, and then at some point the city realizes it needs to grow back into it, and people look at the history and the architecture of that place, and looking at incorporating it into the area.”
And awesome new developments like Trapp and Holbrook are expected to help turn the tides.
Built in 1899, and formerly home to Army and Navy, Trapp Block has sat empty since 1977. The buildings were purchased in 2005, but economic downturn and structural issues delayed the developments. Things are back on track now, but with modified plans — due to unstable ground, only the facades of the buildings will be retained.
The final results will be a stunning marriage of old and new, seeing 196 homes ranging from 500 to 1200 square feet in a classic historic style that’s helping to launch New Westminster’s cultural revival.
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