Hot properties meet hot business opportunities in Liberty Village and local business owners are happy to be along for the ride.
A rapidly growing community measured both in new residents and new businesses, Liberty Village is a self-contained enclave known for its trendy condos and just-out-of-downtown feel.
Located south of King Street and running from Strachan Avenue to the Gardiner, the Village has seen thousands of new condo and townhouse units go up in just the last five years and has many more already nearing completion, bringing in an unprecedented number of local customers to local businesses.
Lynn Clay, executive director of the Liberty Village Business Improvement Area, says the area’s close proximity to downtown and Exhibition Place has made it a big draw for residents and the businesses that want to serve them.
“We’re very fortunate to be nestled in an area that always has a lot of things happening and there’s a strong sense of community here. There’s a great deal of support for local business that comes from the local residents,” Clay said.
Arshad Merali opened Liberty Noodle (171 East Liberty Street #100) just six months ago and says he, like many new businesses owners in the area, came to Liberty Village because he saw great potential and so far entrepreneurs throughout the village are working together.
“I’ve talked to other business owners and we all share the same belief that there’s tremendous opportunity here. There’s a lot of collaboration happening and we try to help each other to be successful,” Merali said.
Liberty Noodle is Merali’s second restaurant — he opened Blowfish (668 King St. W.) in 2003 and already has plans to open two more places in Liberty Village, starting soon with a high-class burger joint named Chuck & Co.
He’s motivated by the Village’s rampant expansion and wants to take advantage of what he believes will be an increasingly lucrative and desirable market.
“I really like getting involved with an area when it’s on the ground floor level, and this area is up and coming. There are young people here who are educated, earning good money at jobs they love, who want to go out and enjoy their lives. There’s a real neighbourhood feeling here,” Merali said.
Remember to pick up an edition of Metro on Thursday for the Liberty Village Spaces & Places feature.