Planning Underway for 40-Acre Willingdon Lands

Aquilini Development has submitted an initial rezoning application for a 40-acre site in Burnaby that they own jointly with the Musqueam Indian Band and the Tsleil-Watuth First Nation. The site has been used over the years by a variety of institutional uses and many of the existing facilities on the site are currently leased back by the Province. All of the remaining services on the site will be relocated off-site by 2019.

The site is currently zoned CD and allows for commercial and institutional uses. The current application seeks to establish a master plan for the entire site, and a development plan for the first phase to be located on the Northeast corner. While details are still vague at this point, general concepts include:

  • commercial, residential and amenity uses including a child care facility
  • 4-acre public open space or “commons” at the centre of the site
  • potential street linkages at South and West sides of site

Willingdon LandsThe existing CD zoning had been based upon the P6 and B2 Urban Office District guidelines and envisioned uses including: high tech and office uses, vocational and post secondary uses, health care and seniors care uses, emergency, transitional and supportive housing, as well as supporting accessory uses such as retail, residential and mixed-use.

Separate rezoning applications for the master plan and for phase 1 will be submitted as a next step.

The site was purchased from the Province in 2014 for $57.9 Million.

New Metrotown Downtown Plan Draft Released

The City of Burnaby has released a draft of the new Metrotown Downtown Plan, to be considered by City Council prior to adoption. The new plan comes after years of anticipation of finalizing planning efforts in Metrotown, which has seen rapid redevelopment following the City’s revision of the four town centre areas several years ago, and the creation of the ‘s’ zoning designation in 2010 that facilitated many of the highrise rezoning applications that have occurred in the past five years.

metrotown-planThe Metrotown Plan was originally drafted in 1977 and has been amended many times since. Planning efforts have been ongoing but the formal planning process got underway in the spring of 2016 with a draft report on the proposed changes in the plan area. The new plan seeks to designate Metrotown as the true core of Burnaby’s four town centre areas; essentially calling it Burnaby’s Downtown.

Core principles in the plan include:

  1. Creating an Official Downtown
  2. Establishing Neighbourhoods and Community
  3. Providing Greater Connectivity
  4. Enhancing the Public Realm
  5. Providing New Amenities

Of primary interest to those in the development industry are the proposed updates and changes to the land uses within the plan area.The changes will create some new density, but more importantly will clarify potential zoning and urban design possibilities in some of the peripheral areas of Metrotown that had been in limbo for several years. The plan also shapes potential large-scale rezonings in the core area for big sites along Kingsway.

The general land use map and zoning designation framework is included below (click for greater detail):


Other highlights:

  • high density mixed-use sites will require a minimum site area of 1.5 acres and will require a minimum commercial use of 1:3 per residential uses. (1 commercial SF per 3 residential SF)
  • Core downtown sites with RM5s/C3 designation allowing density up to 11.0 FAR
  • Large scale sites such as Metropolis at Metrotown, Sears, Old Orchard Shopping Centre and Plaza 5000 will require Master Plans prior to rezoning enactment
  • Sites in the Maywood area (south of Beresford), subject of rampant speculation over the past few years, will become a mix of RM5s and RM4s, allowing heights of 12-30 storeys South of Beresford, and 4-storeys along Imperial
  • new highrise opportunities North of Kingsway between Boundary and Halley Avenue
  • the creation of Central Boulevard as an ‘entertainment and garden street’ with new retail opportunities
  • a significant new open space in a redeveloped Metrotown Mall site
  • minimum frontage of 200 feet and minimum site area of 24,000 SF for a single tower project
  • minimum frontage of 400 feet and minimum site area of 48,000 SF for a two tower project (minimum 80 foot tower separation)
  • 6 ft minimum front and side-yard setbacks for commercial/mixed-use developments, and 15 ft front and side-yard setbacks for residential developments
  • larger floorplates for residential buildings over 50-storeys only (8,100 SF max floorplate) – office towers exception

The plan does not contain a unique set of community benefit policies. The City of Burnaby’s Community Benefit Bonus Policy would apply to any rezoning being brought forward.

The full draft of the Metrotown Downtown Plan can be downloaded here:

Rezoning Plan for Lougheed Village Site Includes Two New Rental Towers

A rezoning application has been submitted to the City of Burnaby for Lougheed Village, a 7.4 acre rental apartment property that is currently improved with two 25-storey concrete high-rise apartment buildings and two 9-storey mid-rise apartment buildings. The site has a total of 528 current rental apartment units.

lougheed villageThe property was acquired in December 2015 by Starlight Properties, based in Toronto, for $160 Million. Located within the Lougheed Town Centre Plan area, the property’s value was partially based on the potential to add density, now the subject of a current rezoning application. The rezoning calls to use the RM4s and C1 zones as the basis for a redevelopment that includes four new residential buildings and reconfiguration of some of the existing buildings.

The site fronts Lougheed Highway, but has an address on Erickson Drive.

Details include:

  • a new 36-storey rental apartment tower (south tower)
  • a new 22-storey rental apartment tower (north tower)
  • a new 8-storey rental apartment midrise (“middle lodge”)
  • a new 3-storey rental townhouse building
  • demolition of the 2nd storey of existing commercial building
  • conversion of existing larger penthouse units into 43 new smaller units
  • creation of new amenity spaces
  • 645 total new rental units
  • 1,173 rental units in total
  • total density of 3.6 FAR (up from existing 1.88 FAR)

lougheed-village_1The site sits just one block West of Shape’s large scale mixed-use development “The City of Lougheed” currently in initial stages of development.

If supported at Council, the application will move forward to a more detailed package that would be presented at a public hearing early next year.

Market Update: Burnaby Rezoning Applications

Here is a brief roundup of rezoning applications going before City of Burnaby council this week:

6837-6875 Royal Oak Avenue

6837-royal-oakThe plan for this 27,229 SF site in the Royal Oak area is for a 4-storey residential building with 54 units. The project will also have 8,106 SF of retail on the ground level and 106 underground parking stalls. The site is currently zoned M4light industrial and is occupied by older warehouse buildings. The project is being developed under the C9 Urban Village designation to a total density of 2.19 FAR.

6695 Dunblane Avenue & 4909-4971 Imperial Street

6695 Dunblane_1Transca Development initially submitted a rezoning application for this L-shaped site earlier this year, and the plan is now likely heading to public hearing. The proposal is a single 36-storey apartment tower with a 2-storey form fronting Nelson Avenue, a 3-storey residential form fronting Dunblane Avenue, and a 4-storey form fronting Imperial that includes 2-storey townhouses with double height amenity space above. There will be a total of 313 units, and a total density of 5.11 FAR per the RM-5s designation.

6921-6965 Arcola Street

6921-arcolaThis site is an assembly of six single family lots in the Edmonds area. The lots are currently zoned R5 but are being rezoned to RM3 based on the Edmonds Town Centre Plan. The proposal for the site is a 3-storey stacked townhouse development with underground parking. All the units are 3-bedrooms and range between 1,237 SF and 1,496 SF. The total density is 1.1 FAR.

Market Spotlight: Burnaby Rezoning Applications

A number of rezoning applications head to Burnaby City Council this week. Below is a brief summary of some of the larger projects planned.

4460-4482 Juneau Street

4460-juneauSolterra owns this three-lot assembly of older M1 zoned industrial buildings along Willingdon Avenue at Juneau Street in the Brentwood area. The plan for the site is a 25-storey tower with townhouses under the RM-4s designation. There is a 23-storey tower just across Juneau Street at second reading.

6525-6585 Sussex Avenue

6525-sussexThe plan for this 57,116 SF Metrotown site at Sussex and Beresford is for a mixed-use high-rise and low-rise market residential apartment building including retail and office uses. The project will also include a separate non-market housing building developed in conjunction with B.C. Housing. The proposed density is 5.0 FAR per the RM-5s and C2 guidelines. The site was acquired by Thind Properties in May 2016 for $32,680,000.

7422-7470 Buller Avenue

7422-bullerThis 132,000 SF site is currently occupied by a multi-tenant warehouse building and is located next to a section of former rail line in the Royal Oak area. The site is designated for medium-density residential development, and the application is for a mix of stacked-townhouses and traditional townhomes with full underground parking to a density of 1.1 FAR.

5180 Lougheed Highway

5180-lougheedAnother highrise condo tower is being planned for the Brentwood area; this one at the corner of Lougheed Highway and Springer Street. The 51,204 SF site is currently occupied by two older industrial buildings owned by Beedie Living. The plan calls for a 269,000 SF tower with 250 to 300 residential units. The concept includes “breaks” throughout the building to add visual interest to the massing and scale of the tower.