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As Vancouver’s old industries leave “Mount Pixel,” city struggles to define new meaning of industrial

April 6th, 2016 · 11 Comments

Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant industrial area is undergoing a profound transformation.

For years, the old steel-plating, gadget-manufacturing, and garment-producing businesses had been leaving slowly.

But that speeded up three years ago when two things happened. Hootsuite, the city’s bigfoot digital company, moved into a building in the area. (It was a building zoned for office use, at 8th and Quebec, across the street from the conventional industrial zone.)

And the city tweaked the zoning to allow some office uses, as long as one floor of a building was retained for industrial.

Tech companies started to flood in and prices went up.

My story last weekend looked at the changes and the struggle going on in the city, and the region, to figure out what industrial actually means these days and how to keep office users looking for cheap space from invading.

In Vancouver, where council is particularly anxious to foster a tech industry, the debate is even more pointed.

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