The River Market has evolved from over 100 years of a public market’s presence in New Westminster. When the original Westminster Quay Public Market was in derelict, Leslie and her partner saw an opportunity to make the market relevant again. The new venture included a complete redesign of the interior spaces with all new tenants and activities that will bring life into the space. An interview with Leslie Shieh, Project Manager, was conducted to understand her vision for the River Market.
Why New Westminster?
New Westminster is geographically cenetered in the Lower
Mainland with Vancouver to the North and Surrey to the South. The
areas is also very accessible by transit and road. New Westminster
has a growing population which can be accredited to the rapid
redevelopment of the area. The area also has an active residential
population who take part in community events.
What is different now than from the original building?
The whole building was gutted and renovated with a new layout.
The amount of stores were reduced significantly to ensure vendors
had adequate space for their respective functions. This allows food
and beverage companies to accommodate a full kitchen which
allows them to cater out of the River Market and build on their
Largest group of demographics using the space?
Seniors, adults with their children and families.
Types of businesses you allow in the space?
Local businesses and entrepreneurs
What events happen in the space?
In the flex space and food hall various events can take place such
as: craft fairs, fundraisers, mom swap meets, and Art Starts
From this interview we can conclude that the redesign of the River Market has become an essential part of the daily community again. By Leslie and their respective partners investing into the building they have created a space designed for families, students and workers to gather collaboratively under one roof.