Possible redevelopment of a grocery store could leave locals without an all-purpose market

Customers of Buy-Low Foods on Fraser street are concerned about the store's rezoning application

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By Rigo Bacaltos

The redevelopment plan of Buy-Low Foods on Fraser Street is receiving mixed reviews from locals, with concerns the potential redevelopment could leave many without an all-purpose market.

Residents have long relied on the only all-purpose grocery store on Fraser Street between 41st Avenue and Southeast Marine Drive and would be left spending more time and money traveling to further locations to buy food.

Customers express their concern

Bridgette Cayabyab, a resident who regularly purchases her groceries from Buy-Low Foods, is worried about the store’s closure. She said that the potential redevelopment would put immense stress on her and her family.

“I’m kind of scared because my family depends on it a lot, and it has all the stuff that we need,” said Cayabyab, who does not own a car and would now need to take the bus to grocery shop.

Customer Mariam Tang said Buy-Low Foods has specialized selections for produce which she is unable to find in other markets. She said the redevelopment will be a challenge for her.

“It would be a little hassle,” Tang said.

Buy-Low plans to return

The Buy-Low plans to return to the proposed development once construction is complete, which would allow for a seven-story mixed-use building. An application is in place for the 6095 Fraser St. site with the City of Vancouver.

Kenneth King, the rezoning applicant and architect for the redevelopment, said Buy-Low Foods owners supported the application and the store would eventually move into the new building once construction is finished.

King said the application process needs to be reviewed by the city and will receive feedback from the public.

Local residents Kathryn McKinnon-Buck and Leslie Buck said they do have a way of getting groceries without driving, particularly using Save-On Foods delivery service, which will be more expensive.

They hope the inconvenience of losing the Buy-Low will be worth it and if more housing is constructed overall, it will improve the rental crisis, in terms of both affordability and availability.

“Maybe it will kind of … work its way down the street,” McKinnon-Buck said.

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