Why Curated Retail Works

What if your favourite coffee shop was there on purpose? What if it was sought out, thoughtfully placed and spoke to the values and desires of you, your neighbours and your community? That’s where curated retail comes in.

Retail is a social catalyst, offering both convenience and vibrancy to a neighbourhood. Not only does it create a powerful, positive impact on a neighbourhood’s social fabric, but it can bring much-needed vitality to properties across the city.

We are bringing this curated retail strategy to our first purpose-built rental project, Comma Fraser. This project sits at the heart of Fraserhood, where your local restaurant feels like home and you and your barista are on a first-name basis.

Let’s take a deeper look at why curated retail works when it comes to creating places that matter. 

Harlow Skin Co. on Fraser Street

A Hunger for Social Connection

Curated retail is key to creating a sense of place. As we look ahead to the future needs and trends of the city and its people, it helps to take a glimpse into the past. Reminiscing about the quintessential corner store, it’s easy to see what made them so appealing.

Besides offering convenience, there was something magical about these spaces being a gathering place for friends and neighbours, where your local shopkeep knew to expect you.

It’s these simple yet wholesome community rituals we’d love to see as part of future rental developments. Imagine if retail spaces within a rental building became new meeting spots and getaways for residents of not just the property, but the whole neighbourhood.

A hunger for social connection—combined with the shift away from being in the office full-time—has created a need and desire for ‘third spaces’ as TechCrunch explains, something besides home and the standard office environment.

Curated retail offerings provide that ‘third space’ for residents and the community, going one step further than the standard commercial space and integrating naturally with the neighbourhood.

Mishmish, a coffee shop and bakery in our upcoming Comma Fraser rental property, exemplifies this spirit. The vision was a coffee shop that offered a fresh concept to Vancouver’s beloved Fraserhood area.

“There is still a major gap in the West Coast market when it comes to coffee shops, bakeries and Middle Eastern food,” says Abdallah El Chami, Mishmish’s operations advisor, investor (and co-owner of Superbaba), “Currently, the bakery and cafe market consists of very similar and replicable concepts. The majority serve the same European bread, pastries, and sandwiches and we wanted to offer something different for the Fraserhood community.”

The inspiration for Mishmish came from this exact desire to be thoughtful and intentional. Fraserhood’s more laid-back vibe was perfect for their goal: to offer a getaway where people could drop by for a break from their busy lives and enjoy a new kind of coffee shop and bakery experience.

“The curated retail approach matters to us, especially as a new business,” says Abdallah, “When homegrown brands in a neighborhood or property complement each other, consumers and residents actually take notice, and start to place more value in the building itself, as well as in the community overall.”

Pet-friendly rentals at Comma Fraser.
Paws on Fraser is excited to meet the pets of Fraser Street.

Giving Familiar Concepts a Fresh Spin

When it comes to selecting retail partners for our mixed-use properties, our approach involves creating connection and of course, convenience for the residents and neighbourhood as a whole.

Paws on Fraser, a new veterinary hospital and another of our retail partners at the (pet-friendly!) Comma Fraser, was also drawn to Fraserhood for its approachable feel and interconnectedness.

The business is owned by two local veterinarians that have practiced in Vancouver for over 30 years combined. As regular visitors to Fraserhood, joining this community of beloved local businesses was a natural fit.

“We love the diversity of local shops, groceries and restaurants in the Fraserhood area,” says co-founder Loretta Yuen, “As Vancouverites, we love to stop by the coffee shops, ice cream stores and eateries here, and now we get to own a business and be part of this community every day. We can’t wait to be a part of Comma and get to know the other residents—and pets!—of the neighbourhood.”

Osteria Savio Volpe
Spring in Fraserhood
Bells and Whistles
Le Marche St. George

“When homegrown brands in a neighborhood or property complement each other, consumers and residents actually take notice.”

An Extension of the Community

Our goal at Rize is to be thoughtful when it comes to bringing retail spaces to our projects. We believe understanding the individual stories of independent retailers helps to positively shape the fabric of a building—and the neighbourhood at large.

Curated retail helps to accomplish this vision, where home and community become one. 

Watch this space for more updates on our curated retail strategy!