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Friday, April 12, 2024

Days of Mount Pleasant’s Kingsgate Mall could be numbered

A famous (some would say infamous) aging mall in Mount Pleasant could soon be home to a new mixed-use community, including condos, retail and potentially office space.

Kingsgate Mall at the corner of Broadway and Kingsway is an East Vancouver institution that appears to be stuck in time, with a random assortment of quirky, independent stores you might expect to see in small town B.C.  There’s no denying, the mall has a certain je ne sais quoi.

In fact, the mall spawned several online parodies, including a hilarious twitter account which is sadly no longer updated, and even a YouTube musical tribute to the shopping mall, to the tune of Adele’s Skyfall, naturally.

Old Kingsgate Mall school
The old False Creek School, which was located at the present site of Kingsgate Mall. Credit: City of Vancouver archives

But what many people don’t know is that Kingsgate Mall is actually owned by the Vancouver School Board, as it used to be site of the False Creek School (later renamed the Mount Pleasant School), built in 1892. It was torn down in the 1970s and Kingsgate Mall was built in its place.

Fast forward to 2016, and the Vancouver School Board is facing a massive budget shortfall and the money from a potential sale of Kingsgate Mall would sure come in handy right about now. The property is valued at $80 million, up from last year’s assessment of $56 million.

The large property is also directly across the street from The Independent development by Rize, currently under construction. That project will feature 258 homes over 21 storeys.

Now the Vancouver School Board has launched a public consultation to determine if the property should be sold.


The Independent condos
The Independent by Rize is under construction directly across the street from Kingsgate Mall.

A number of major developers would likely be interested, and would seek to redevelop the site into a high-density mixed use project. A likely buyer is the Beedie Development Group, which already has a 99-year lease on the property.

It’s safe to say we can expect even more changes at the intersection of Kingsway and Broadway in the near future.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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