Commercial buildings and subdivisions line most of the length of 192nd Avenue today, but as recently as 30 years ago, none of that bustling corridor existed – not even the road itself. A viewer flying over today’s eastern edge of Vancouver in the early 1990s would have seen an expanse of farmland, dotted with a few scattered houses bookended by a pair of massive mining sites. The only large-scale piece of developed land was the local Hewlett-Packard campus on Southeast 34th Street.
“That was all mining and farmland when I got here back in 1992,” said Chad Eiken, the city of Vancouver’s economic development director. “192nd wasn’t even a road at that point.”
A series of annexations extended the Vancouver city limits rapidly eastward during the 1990s, bringing a steady march of subdivisions and residential development out to what is now 192nd Avenue. Commercial development followed starting in the mid-2000s, rapidly transforming the road into a central retail corridor.
Today, the corridor is headed for a new kind of development boom – one that will focus on reimagining the mining sites that defined the area 30 years ago.
“For many years, all that gravel was being used for other construction, other developments in the region, and now those have sort of reached the end of their life cycle,” Eiken said.