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.

Market Spotlight: Burnaby Rezoning Activity

Here is an update to some of the rezoning applications that have been advanced to public hearing at Burnaby City council this week:

7201 11th Avenue (Southgate City –  Phase 2)

7201 11th AvenueThis proposal is the second phase of land to go through rezoning in Ledingham McAllister’s “Southgate City” master planned community in South Burnaby. The plan for this plot in the ‘Island Neighbourhood’ in the Southwest corner of the site includes:

  • a 28-storey tower and two 4-storey lowrise buildings
  • 321 units (213 in tower, 108 in lowrises)
  • 84 one-bedrooms, 225 two-bedrooms and 12 three-bedrooms
  • 354 underground parking spaces
  • 307,037 SF of gross floor area

6695 Dunblane Avenue & 4909-4971 Imperial Street

6695 Dunblane_1This “L” shaped property is owned by Transca Development, who acquired the assembly of four Metrotown lowrise apartments in February 2016 for $28,700,000 and submitted an initial rezoning inquiry at that time. The 56,239 SF site sits in a very active development zone, with The Park, Met 1 and Met 2 all nearby. Transca is now seeking approval to move to public hearing with a high-density residential project under the RM-5s designation including:

  • a 36-storey tower and 2-4 storey lowrise form
  • 313 units
  • total density of 5.11 FAR
  • 6,225 SF of live/work (commercial space) 0.11 FAR
  • 31 studios, 103 one-bedrooms, 112 two-bedrooms and 67 three-bedrooms
  • 387 underground parking spaces

6668-6730 Dunblane Avenue & 6661-6709 Marlborough Avenue

6668 DunblaneJust across Dunblane Avenue to Transca’s applicaiton, Polygon’s application on Dublane, originally introduced in November 2015, is now headed to public hearing. Details of the proposal for the 7-lot, 54,085 SF assembly of duplexes and apartment buildings includes:

  • a 38-storey tower with townhouses
  • 263 units (255 in tower and 8 townhouse units)
  • total density of 5.0 FAR
  • 1 studio, 220 two-bedrooms, 42 three-bedrooms

Market Spotlight: Newer Condo Resales

Here is a brief snapshot of the condo resales market since the start of 2016, shown as average price per SF broken down by sub-area/neighbourhood.

Condo Resales $ per SF_May 2016

Source: MLS Data

The above chart reflects data on all MLS sales for condo units that were one year old or newer at the time of sale, and only includes neighbourhoods with sales in multiple buildings. Pricing is slightly distorted by product type; for example, all of the downtown condo product is concrete highrise which is more expensive, whereas all of Maple Ridge product is in lowrise or townhouse form that is much cheaper to build and sell. Nevertheless, some may find the average pricing stats interesting.

The market for pre-sales inventory is likely to track above the average resales in a given sub-market.

Market Spotlight: Burnaby Rezoning Applications

Below is a summary of current rezoning applications going before the City of Burnaby council.

2422 Alpha Avenue

2422 AlphaThe proposal for this 41,770 SF Brentwood town centre site, by Monark, was originally submitted back in September 2015 and calls for a 23-storey condo tower, that includes:

  • 160 units, including 4 townhouses
  • 59 one-bedrooms, 80 two-bedrooms and 21 3-bedrooms
  • underground and structured parking
  • total density of 3.6 FAR
  • 176 parking spaces

6050 Sussex Avenue

6050 Sussex_1The plan for this 2.9 acre site that includes an existing apartment building and church on the North side of Metrotown is for two towers including condos and rental apartments, under the RM5s designation in the Metrotown Centre Plan.The site is owned by Townline, and a preview of the proposal can be seen here.

Details of the proposal include:

  • a 41-storey condo tower and a 31-storey rental apartment tower
  • a redevelopment of the existing Burnaby West United Church
  • 321 condo units
  • 238 new rental apartment units
  • a total density of 5.0 FAR
  • retention of existing 18-storey and 15-storey apartment buildings with 254 units
  • 362 underground parking spaces

3700 Hastings Street

3700 HastingsThe plan for this 10,000 SF site in the Hastings Heights area is for a 4-storey mixed-use development, including:

  • 21 market rental apartment units
  • 3-studios, 12 one-bedrooms, 6 two-bedrooms
  • 6,278 SF of ground floor retail space
  • 28 parking spaces

SOLO District Phases 3 & 4

SOLORezoning for Appia’s four tower SOLO District project was approved back in 2012, and since that time two towers have now been substantially sold out, with tower one having been completed, and tower 2 currently under construction.

Appia is now seeking a rezoning amendment to tweak some of the details of the remaining two towers. The design changes include:

  • Phase 3 tower:
    • increase height form 39-storeys to 42-storeys
    • decrease unit count from 328 to 280
    • increase commercial area from 18,000 SF to 45,000 SF
  • Phase 4 tower:
    • increase tower height from 43-storeys to 48-storeys
    • decrease unit count from 365 to 319
    • increase commercial area from 35,000 SF to 60,000 SF

The architectural design, by Chris Dikeakos, has also been amended.

How Burnaby is Building More Highrises than Vancouver (…Way More)

While the City of Vancouver grapples with worsening housing affordability conditions, increasingly contentious area plans, and an excruciatingly slow planning process for even modest density increases, Burnaby is quietly going through what is likely one of the most dramatic suburban transformations in the history Metro Vancouver, if not Canada.

Most people have only really begun to take notice more recently with higher and higher towers starting to pop up in Metrotown and now Brentwood. With a strong condo market fuelling demand for new towers near transit, most of Vancouver’s large developers have been active securing sites in Burnaby in the last several years. While the rezoning applications tend not to attract as much attention as those high profile projects in Downtown Vancouver, the magnitude of activity can’t be ignored, particularly when one ponders the scale of projects like Shape Properties’ recently approved Lougheed Town Centre.

How did Burnaby become a hotbed of highrise construction at a scale that dwarfs even the City of Vancouver? You have to go back a few years to understand how the plans were put in place.

The City of Burnaby put plans in place several years ago to concentrate growth in and near major rapid transit (Skytrain) nodes, particularly in four town centre areas they identified as follows:

Furtheremore, unlike homeowners in Vancouver that have been increasingly vocal against even midrise developments, towers in Burnaby have faced less public opposition during rezoning, in part due to the fact that many highrises are being being built in former industrial areas that are being lost to residential, or in areas that are primarily occupied by older rundown apartments where tenants have, seemingly, less influence with the City than single family homeowners.

So far, about 30 highrise towers have been built in these four town centre areas (including 2 office towers), primarily in Metrotown, where projects such as Sovereign by Bosa – a 45-storey hotel and condo tower, and Metroplace by Intracorp – a condo tower near the Metrotown Skytrain station, have each taken advantage of sizeable density increases per the Metrotown Town Centre plan. The sales velocity and pricing of each new development spurs even greater interest for new projects and generates more and more rezoning applications. Land speculation is now commonplace, particularly in more mature areas such as Metrotown.

The City of Burnaby’s willingness to allow fairly substantial density on previously underutilized parcels of land previously dedicated to commercial and industrial use has vaulted Burnaby far ahead of any area in Metro Vancouver in terms of highrise construction. Shape Properties’ two mall sites: Brentwood and Lougheed, are the largest and most well known, but others such as Onni’s Gilmore Station (rumored to include BC’s new tallest tower) and Concord’s Brentwood projects are massive themselves and in terms of height and scale, tower over Vancouver’s most ambitious plans such as the recently scaled back Oakridge.

A review of current and forthcoming developments in the City of Burnaby shows over 100 highrises in various stages of development (under application or construction), almost all of them intended for residential condos, with a handful of commercial office towers usually required on the larger scale developments to preserve job space. A few stats show the scale of this wave of development in Burnaby:

  • 106 highrises under development (compared to 68 in the City of Van)
  • 47 highrises of 40-storeys or more (compared 13 in the City of Van)
  • Over 30,000 units under development (excluding lowrise and townhouse units)

Here is a breakdown of all of this activity, by each area of Burnaby:


ProjectDeveloperHeight (Storeys)UnitsStatus
The Amazing BrentwoodShape
Brentwood ONE53591U/C
Brentwood TWO53563U/C
Brentwood THREE51526U/C
Brentwood Tower 440~2,500Proposed
Brentwood Tower 530Proposed
Brentwood Tower 655Proposed
Brentwood Tower 735Proposed
Brentwood Tower 830Proposed
Brentwood Tower 935Proposed
Brentwood Tower 1040Proposed
Gilmore StationOnni
Gateway Tower 145~2,600Proposed
Gateway Tower 255Proposed
Gateway Tower 365Proposed
Dawson Tower 125Proposed
Dawson Tower 235Proposed
Dawson Tower 335Proposed
Dawson Tower 445Proposed
Carlton Tower35Proposed
Commerce Tower 115Proposed
Commerce Tower 230Proposed
Concord Place - BrentwoodConcord Pacific
Hillside Tower 142892Proposed
Hillside Tower 247Proposed
Hillside Tower 345~2,900Proposed
Hillside Tower 455Proposed
Flatlands Tower 130Proposed
Flatlands Tower 240Proposed
Parkside Tower 125Proposed
Parkside Tower 235Proposed
Parkside Tower 335Proposed
Parkside Tower 445Proposed
Solo DistrictAppia
Tower 339700Proposed
Tower 445Proposed
1846-1904 Gilmore46340Proposed
2242 Alpha AveMonark30Proposed
2425 Alpha Ave Tower 1Thind25~750Proposed
2425 Alpha Ave Tower 230Proposed
2425 Alpha Ave Tower 335Proposed
2630 Douglas Road Tower 125n/aProposed
2630 Douglas Road Tower 230n/aProposed
4720 Dawson Road25170Proposed
AviaraLedingham McAllister32300Complete
Escala (1710 Gilmore Ave)Ledingham McAllister42520U/C
Fulton House (2338 Madison Ave)Polygon41300Proposed
Milano (2450 Alpha Ave)Solterra31176Pre-sales

East Burnaby/Lougheed

ProjectDeveloperHeight (Storeys)UnitsStatus
Lougheed Town CentreShape
Lougheed Tower 125-65~11,000Proposed
Lougheed Tower 225-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 325-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 425-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 525-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 625-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 725-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 825-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 925-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 1025-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 1125-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 1225-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 1325-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 1425-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 1525-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 1625-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 1725-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 1825-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 1925-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 2025-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 2125-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 2225-65Proposed
Lougheed Tower 2325-65Proposed

South Burnaby

ProjectDeveloperHeight (Storeys)UnitsStatus
Southgate VillageLedingham McAllister
Gateway Tower 126~6,250Proposed
Gateway Tower 228Proposed
Gateway Tower 330Proposed
Gateway Tower 434Proposed
Gateway Tower 536Proposed
Gateway Tower 638Proposed
Gateway Tower 740Proposed
Gateway Tower 844Proposed
Ernie Winch Tower 30Proposed
Ernie Winch Tower 226Proposed
Island Tower 126Proposed
Island Tower 230Proposed
Island Tower 338Proposed
Crescent Tower 138Proposed
Crescent Tower 240Proposed
Crescent Tower 346Proposed
Courtyard Tower 124Proposed
Courtyard Tower 226Proposed
Courtyard Tower 332Proposed
Kings CrossingCressey
Kings Crossing Tower 125803Pre-sales
Kings Crossing Tower 230Pre-sales
Kings Crossing Tower 340Pre-sales


ProjectDeveloperHeight (Storeys)UnitsStatus
Station SquareAnthem/Beedie
Station Square Tower 135269Complete
Station Square Tower 238434U/C
Station Square Tower 348U/C
Station Square Tower 452334Proposed
Station Square Tower 541424Proposed
Metrotown SearsConcord Pacific
Sears Residential Tower 1~1,500Proposed
Sears Residential Tower 2Proposed
Sears Residential Tower 3Proposed
Sears Residential Tower 4Proposed
Sears Residential Tower 5Proposed
Sears Commercial Tower 1Proposed
Sears Commercial Tower 2Proposed
Gold House Tower 140490Pre-sales
Gold House Tower 228Pre-sales
The Met Tower 132295Complete
The Met Tower 238312U/C
Aldynne on the ParkPolygon41242U/C
The Park MetrotownIntergulf42298U/C
Bluesky Metrotown (5977 Wilson)BlueSky Properties34365Proposed
6380 SilverBeflord Propertise41479Proposed
6420 SilverBelford Properties26Proposed
6695 Dunblane / 4909 ImperialTransca Development40280Proposed
6750 Dunblane / 5025 ImperialAmacon27177Proposed
Maywood ParkIntracorp30n/aProposed
SussexTownline Homes30375Proposed

The above floor & unit counts are best estimates unless otherwise confirmed in City of Burnaby planning/rezoning application documents.

It is anticipated that there will be more rezoning applications forthcoming in the near future, particularly as the Town Centre Plans are further refined; however, it can be argued that the majority of the most central and logical development sites have now been secured by developers. With a very active presales market and continued upward trajectory of condo prices, it can be anticipated that land costs will continue to increase for these Burnaby tower sites in the future, with areas such as Port Moody and Coquitlam seeking to catch some of the spillover of this growth in conjunction with the 2017 completion of the Evergreen Line.

With the height and scale of these projects in Burnaby, it will be interesting to see what, if any response the City of Vancouver has while it struggles to create even modest height and density in increasingly expensive and largely unaffordable areas.

For the record, I am not espousing the virtues of density as the primary means of increasing affordability. In fact, if Burnaby is behind in an area, it is in the creation of new rental units for which there is currently no coherent or substantive policy. This, in part, has helped the viability of several projects since rental replacement is not a requirement like it is in other municipalities. The City of Vancouver has been more proactive in the provision of affordable housing which has hopefully had at least a moderate impact in terms of affordability.

Next Phase of Station Square Project Includes Metrotown’s Tallest Building

Development plans are going ahead for the 3rd and 4th phase of Station Square, a multi- phase mixed use development including five residential towers in Metrotown being developed by Anthem Properties in conjunction with the Beedie Group.

The rezoning for the project was granted back in 2012 at which time pre-sales commenced for the first phase, which included a 35-storey tower and 269 units. The first tower recieved occupancy in 2015. The second phase entailed two towers of 38 & 48 storeys, now under construction.

Plans for the 3rd and 4th phase, located along the Mackay Avenue frontage, total 758 new units, and includes:

Phase 3 Tower

  • 41-storey residential tower above a 3-storey podium
  • 461 ft tower height
  • residential, office and retail use
  • 334 residential units
  • 47,470 SF of commercial space
  • 612 parking spaces

Phase 4 Tower

  • 52-storey residential tower above a 3-storey podium (new tallest in Metrotown)
  • 565 ft tower height
  • residential, office and retail use
  • 424 residential units
  • 65,960 SF of commercial space
  • 627 parking spaces