Creative Use Leasing Opportunity - 1387 Railspur Alley





“To steward this public land for meaningful urban and social experimentation among diverse, creative, cultural, and business models, engaging local First Nations and communities while welcoming the world.”



“The most inspiring public place in the world.”


Creative Use Leasing Opportunity on Granville Island

Our creative use spaces are designated to provide light industrial workshops, studios, galleries, small scale manufacturing or wholesale production/showroom spaces and retail space to all those in creative and innovative fields of work who are looking to take their work and their business to the next level. Leasable spaces are managed in line with the Guiding Principles and Leasing Objectives as set out in the Granville Island Leasing Guidelines which are publicly available here.

As Vancouver’s premier artistic and cultural hub, located in an urban, waterfront location and steeped in a rich industrial and maritime heritage, and anchored by the internationally recognized Public Market, these spaces provide an opportunity to gain access, interaction and exposure to local, national and international visitors. 

CMHC Granville Island currently has an exciting leasing opportunity for creative uses at 1387 Railspur Alley and invites Expressions of Interest (EOI) Applications for those interested in leasing this unique space.


Unit Details:

  • 1,031 square feet (SF) of rentable space (794 SF on the ground floor plus 237 SF on the mezzanine level) - see below links for the survey plan and photos
  • South facing storefront & window display on prominent Railspur Alley, the heart of the Railspur District
  • Easy separation of space between ground floor and mezzanine levels for public interaction areas, studio space and back of house needs
  • Single door + double door front entries 
  • Newly painted
  • Accessible bathroom
  • 3 phase 225amp power
  • Gas heating system & 2 air circulating fans

Unit Photos

Unit Survey/Plan

Rent, Utilities and Insurance:

1. Rent Rates

a) Estimated Minimum Rent*: the greater of $12.00 per square foot ($1,031.00 per month) or 3% Percentage Rent of Gross Revenue (plus GST)

b) Estimated Additional Rent:**

- Estimated CAM: $5.00 per square foot (PSF)

- Estimated Garbage: $0.29 per square foot

- Estimated Water: $0.27 per square foot

Total Estimated Additional Rent: $5.56 PSF ($477.70 per month plus GST)


c) Total Estimated Gross Monthly Rent (Combined Minimum & Additional Rent): $1,508.70 (plus GST)

*This space is being posted at below-market Minimum Rent in accordance with Granville Island’s mandate to support creative uses.

**Based on April 1st 2019 Additional Rent rates and can vary annually based on usage and reconciliation of costs incurred.


2. Hydro, Gas and Property Tax: Utility and Property Tax accounts are to be set up & paid directly by the tenant. Rates vary based on the use of premises and amount of utilities consumed.  The following estimated are based on a typical retail/studio use of premises:

- Estimated Hydro: $2.00 PSF

- Estimated Gas: $0.15 PSF

- Estimated Property Tax: $3.15 PSF

Total Estimated Hydro, Gas & Property Tax: $5.30 PSF (subject to individual use variants)


3. Security Deposit: The equivalent of two months Gross Rent


4. Tenant Insurance Requirement: all risks property insurance; equipment breakdown insurance; minimum $5,000,000 liability insurance


Expression of Interest (EOI) Application Details:

In order to be considered, applicants must fill out the below form and attach an expression of interest (EOI) application/proposal that demonstrates their ability to fulfill all of the following criteria and covers all of the following points/requests. EOI Applications are not to exceed twelve (12) pages; those that do so will be automatically disqualified. Applications submitted using any mode other than the below application form or those that are submitted past the posted deadline will be automatically disqualified.

1. Summary of the proposed concept & use of the premises

  • Must be a local creative/innovative focused individual, company, group or society with a strong alignment with Granville Island’s Mission & Vision Statement and aligns with the guiding principles and leasing objectives of the Granville Island Leasing Guidelines. Applicant use that will compliment and/or enhance the Granville Island experience.
  • The proposed use must be for one of the following: a light industrial workshop/ studio/ gallery / production & showroom/ small-scale manufacturing use with a mandatory retail component.
  • Must commit to active use of the unit 5-7 days per week and the applicant must be open with consistent operating hours and days of the week.
  • Explain and/or show how the applicant meets the above use requirements and what the concept will be along with operating plans for the premises. Show how the applicant’s skills, knowledge, and experience relates to the business concept/proposed use.


2. Products/Services/Offering Information

  • Explain and show photo examples and website links of the products/ offerings/ programming/ services produced by the applicant which demonstrate a high quality of craftsmanship/ innovation/ creativity/ public engagement.
  • Briefly describe the customer/client base the applicant will be targeting and how the proposed use will serve/interact with those customers/clients.
  • Provide what the pricing/fee range will be if the applicant is selling products/services.


3. Marketing and Design Plans

  • Provide a marketing & promotion plan (detailing items such as advertising/promotion, community outreach, website, email campaigns, demonstrations, collaborations with others within the communities and city, events, social media strategy). Please include past or future examples.
  • Detail any past locations, as well as participation in local events, industry events and/or community initiatives, if applicable.
  • Provide a rendering/drawing of the proposed exterior signage design.
  • Provide a rendering/drawing of the proposed layout/uses of the interior with any proposed changes/improvement plans the applicant would like to do to the premises. 
  • Explain the applicant’s ability and plans to create a strong and inviting visual animation of the premises.


4. Financial Information:                  

  • Show that the applicant has the ability to meet the financial commitments of the lease and the requirements as outlined in the rental rates and costs.
  • Explain what the ownership structure is or will be (sole proprietor, non-profit, society or corporation) with the full names of all the owners/those who will be involved.
  • Provide operational & financial history for the business including any existing or former commercial locations that details how the applicant can cover the costs of their operations and rent requirements. At a later time the applicant may need to provide the necessary proof that they can support running the business, such as full financial statements and/or a credit report.
  • Provide 3 year financial projections including proposed initial investment to set up the unit for the applicant’s specific use, anticipated monthly or annual revenues & expenses including ongoing operating and staffing expenses.
  • If chosen, the applicant must be able to provide proof of a business license upon request and obtain any necessary permits in order to be able to take occupancy and operate.
  • Provide a list with addresses of other rental locations and leases the applicant has if applicable, and if so note if the applicant would continue to keep them if they are chosen candidate for these premises.


5. References & Testimonials:

  • References from past partners, collaborators and/or landlords which demonstrate support of the applicants ability to meet the EOI posting criteria and effectively execute their proposal. The format shoud be: name/contact info/how they know the applicant. 
  • If applicable, the applicant can include testimonials/client feedback about the applicant's products/services/offerings


6. Supplementary info:

Applicants may drop off supplementary marketing materials, lookbooks, branding, photos or product samples to support their online submission (prior to 4pm on the deadline date) at the Granville Island Administration Office as follows:

            CMHC Granville Island Administration Office / Attn: Leasing Department

           2nd Floor - 1661 Duranleau Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3S3

          Subject: “1387 Railspur Alley Expression of Interest Application”

          Applicant/Organization Name


FAQs & Important Dates:


1. Unit Viewings:

Viewings of the unit will be conducted with CMHC Leasing staff only. Please do not disturb current tenants or nearby tenants (where applicable). Viewings will be available through scheduled group bookings, please contact to pre-register for one of the below viewings by letting us know your preferred date and time. Please note we cannot accommodate individual meetings, any questions you have can be answered during the group viewings or by email. Applicants are welcome to come to more than one viewing.

                    Thursday August 8, 2019 - 10am & 5pm

                   Tuesday August 13, 2019 – 10am & 5pm

                   Tuesday August 20, 2019 – 10am & 5pm

                  Tuesday August 27, 2019 – 10am & 5pm


2. Submission Process:

How do I Apply?

In order to be considered, applicants must fill out the below form and attach an expression of interest (EOI) application/proposal* that demonstrates their ability to fulfill all of the above criteria and covers all of the above points/requests.

EOI Applications are not to exceed twelve (12) pages; those that do so will be automatically disqualified. Files must be in one of the following formats: PDF/ppt/zip/word doc and be under 512mb.

*Note that applications submitted using any mode other than the below application form, or those that are submitted past the posted deadline will be automatically disqualified.


When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is September 3, 2019 by 4pm. Applications provided after the deadline will be automatically disqualified.*

*CMHC reserves the right to extend deadlines, consider late submissions, or re-post EOIs with revised deadlines in the event the desired number of applications for a given space is not achieved by the original application deadline.


Can I apply for more than one EOI?

Applicants can apply for more than one active EOI if desired; order of preference should be indicated on the application. Separate online submissions will be required for each unit. Please see the below application form for further details.


What happens once all applications are submitted?

Applications will be reviewed and shortlisted by a committee and applicants will be notified of shortlist decisions via email within 30 days. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted to provide further information or to schedule a presentation to the committee within the following 30 days.


What happens once a lead proponent is selected?

Lease terms will be negotiated and there will be a due diligence period for both parties. Once lease terms and timelines are agreed upon, the successful applicant will then be announced.


3.    What is the estimated Possession Date of the Premises?

January/February 2020


4.    Will there be a Fixturing or Free Rent period offered?

Any Fixturing or Free Rent periods would be part of lease negotiations, the agreement of which will be determined based on the applicants’ proposed tenant improvements and related construction timelines (where applicable).


5.   Will CMHC be making additional improvements to the space?

This unit will be provided in ‘as-is’ condition. Any further improvements or modifications will be at the sole cost and responsibility of the applicant, subject to Landlord approval and any applicable permit and building code requirements.


6.   How will the applications be evaluated?

Based on feedback from the arts, culture and the creative use community over the past year, CMHC is piloting a new process for tenant selection within its creative use spaces. This will include a two phase tenant selection process as detailed below:

  • Initial applications will be evaluated by CMHC staff; in order to be considered for 1st phase shortlisting, applicants must ensure their business plan/proposal meets all criteria & requests outlined in the EOI.
  • The tenant selection committee will be then be formed, comprised of between not less than 3 non-CMHC staff jurors with experience in the creative  use community as jurors, as well as not less than 3 CMHC staff*.
  • The tenant selection committee will then shortlist the top 3-5 candidates who will then be brought in for an interview and in-person presentation, and evaluated accordingly
  • Following scoring, the lead proponent will be engaged in the offer to lease negotiations with CMHC                                                                             ​​​​​​

*Please note that all applications and personal/company details will be held in strict confidence among both the CMHC & non-CMHC jurors, all of whom will be bound by confidentiality. 


7.  If I have more questions about this space or leasing on Granville Island in general, who should I contact?

All lease inquiries via email should be addressed to Prior to inquiring, CMHC encourages applicants to review the Granville Island Leasing Guidelines and the Granville Island’s Mission & Vision Statement for more information regarding guiding principles, leasing objectives, standard lease terms and rate methodology. Questions not answered here regarding this EOI posting specifically can be addressed during EOI viewing tours.

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Files must be less than 512 MB.
Allowed file types: pdf doc docx ppt pptx zip.