For almost a century, Harvey’s Furniture and Appliances had been a part of life in Vancouver.
It started in 1927, when Florence and Albert Harvey opened a dried goods store on Kingsway. Housewares and hardware were eventually added on its shelves.
Years later in 1936, it began carrying appliances like wooden coal and oil stoves.
At its heyday, Harvey’s had a showroom of 38,000 square feet at its location at the northwest corner of Kingsway and Earles Street.
On January 17 this year, the company announced on Twitter that Harvey’s is now officially closed.
The location has been sold, and a redevelopment plan could be underway.
The store’s location is part of Norquay, a neighbourhood currently undergoing a lot of changes.
In 2010, city council approved the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan to guide new developments on and around Kingsway between Gladstone Street on the west and Killarney Street on the east.
Based on the plan, the former location of Harvey’s is one of the so-called mid-block sites, where new buildings of up to 12 storeys may be considered for rezoning purposes.
Across Earles Street to the east on Kingsway is the factory and store of Purdys Chocolatier, where the Norquay plan allows a possible 14-storey building in the future.
To the west of Harvey’s is an automotive and tire shop, and next to this car shop is a condo development with commercial uses on the ground by Thind Holdings Ltd. Composed of two buildings of 12 and four storeys, the development was completed in 2014.
Local resident Joseph Jones has kept a sharp eye on what is happening in the neighbourhood.
The retired librarian is an advocate of good city planning that puts the interests of homeowners and renters ahead of profit for developers.
Jones hasn’t heard of any new plans yet for the Harvey’s site, but he is quite sure something is being eyed.
“We know from the Norquay plan what is permitted for that site,” Jones told the Straight in a phone interview. “And we also know that there are many areas in Norquay that are in various stages of play, and developers would like to do more than the plan allows and we have very good reason to believe that the plan should hold.”
According to Jones, developers may be able to go to 10 storeys at the location.
William P.J. McCarthy, founder of the real-estate company that bears his name, acted as the agent of the sale of the Harvey’s location.
According to McCarthy, the sale was made last year, and he’s not aware of current plans for the property.
“It’s up to the new owner now,” McCarthy told the Straight by phone.