Multi-Tower Development Proposed for North Road

Onni is proposing a mixed-use development in the North Road area of Burnaby. The preliminary rezoning plan for the 3.47 acre site at 3355-3429 North Road calls for rezoning the site from CD and R2 to RM4s and C2 per the Lougheed Town Centre Plan guidelines. The proposed plan includes:

  • two concrete residential towers
  • an office tower at the corner of Cameron and North Road
  • a total density of 3.6 FAR
  • 1.3 FAR commercial density
  • total residential density of 544,044 SF

The site is currently improved with a 2-storey strip mall built in the 1980’s, and a vacant lot.

3355 North Road

City of North Vancouver Rezones Moodyville Area

The City of North Vancouver is considering a fairly major area-wide rezoning for a neighbourhood known as Moodyville, just East of Lower Lonsdale. The rezoning follows on the City’s new OCP, adopted in 2015, which included a specific policy direction to create new zones within Moodyville, a predominantly single family and duplex area which the City has targeted for new growth.

Moodyville is…“currently comprised of 306 legal lots and approximately 490 units with an estimated population of 1,000. With the land use changes outlined in the 2014 OCP in place which introduce new potential for apartment, townhouse and duplex development, this area has the long-term capacity for an additional 1,400 units (roughly 3,000 new residents) for a total build-out population of approximately 4,000.”


The six proposed new zones will create opportunities for ground-oriented and apartment development. The proposed zones are as follows:

MoodyvilleMoodyville_4An amenity fund contribution of $20 per net buildable square foot applies to the floor area above the existing zoning and up tot eh OCP maximum density. It is estimated that the whole plan area in question will generate approx. $25 Million in amenity contributions.

Existing Moodyville Land Assemblies

A couple of developers have already secured sizeable land assemblies in Moodyville over the last year. These include:

Seacliff Properties

  • 50 residential lots in the Southeast part of Moodyville
  • Average anticipated density of 1.25 FSR
  • Townhouse, stacked townhouse and 4-storey apartments

Moodyville_1Qualex Landmark

  • 14 residential lots along East 3rd Street (700-800 block)
  • Stacked townhouse and/or 4-storey apartments

The Moodyville Area will be hooked up to the Lonsdale Energy Corporation, a district energy system initiative by the City of North Vancouver.

34-Unit Project Proposed for South Cambie

A rezoning application has been filed for a 17,000 SF two-lot assembly site at 7638-7662 Cambie Street, on the east side of Cambie between West 60th and West 61st Street.

The proposal is for a 6-storey condo building that includes:

  • 34 units;
  • 2 studios, 4 one-bedrooms, 22 two-bedrooms and 6 three-bedrooms
  • a building height of 70 ft. ;
  • a total density of 2.43 FSR; and
  • 71 vehicle parking spaces and 49 bicycle spaces.

The application is being considered under the Cambie Corridor Plan.

7638 Cambie 7638 Cambie_1 7638 Cambie_2

The architect, GBL, explains the design rationale: “The Cambie Street facade comprises of stacked linear interowoven layers that playfully mirror the vehicular energy and movement of the adjacent street. The long projecting balconies act as giant louvers that shield the building face from mid to late afternoon sun, while also providing some acoustic buffering depth from the busy traffic.”

First Two Towers of Southgate Village Approved for Rezoning

The first phases of Ledingham McAllister’s Southgate Village project are moving forward through the rezoning process, with City of Burnaby council approval this week to go to public hearing.

Ledingham acquired the 48-acre former distribution centre in 2012 and received approval of a multi-phase master plan for the site in 2015, including 5.9 Million square feet of density (2.86 FAR). The master plan consists of five neighbourhoods, and the first two towers will be located in two of these neighbourhoods, each of which will be constructed in several phases.

The first two tower phases include:

“Precedence” (Gateway Neighbourhood)

  • a 32-storey apartment tower and 4-storey lowrise
  • 351 units
  • 94 one-bedrooms, 205 two-bedrooms, 16 three-bedrooms
  • tower height of 330.5 ft
  • 401 underground parking spaces


“Southgate Community Island 1 & 2” (Island Neighbourhood)

  • a 30-storey tower and 4-storey lowrise
  • 282 units
  • 69 one-bedrooms, 207 two-bedrooms, 6 three-bedrooms
  • a small park
  • 310 parking spaces

A new east-west public road will be built as part of this phase and will connect 18th Street to 12th Avenue.


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.

Redevelopment of Masonic Centre to Include 18-storey Rental Tower

The Vancouver Masonic Centre has submitted a rezoning application for their property at 1495 W 8th Avenue (between Granville Street and Hemlock Street). The plan the 23,983 SF site is to rezone from the current C-3A to a CD zone to permit a new four-storey building on West 7th Ave., connected to an 18-storey secured rental residential building on 8th Ave. The proposal includes:

    • 159 rental apartment units (mix of non-market and market units);
    • A neighbourhood restaurant on West 7th Ave.;
    • A height of 174 ft;
    • A total density of 5.96 FSR.

1495 West 8th 1495 West 8th_1 1495 West 8th_2


Market Spotlight: City of Vancouver Public Hearings

A couple of rezoning applications make their way to public hearing next week. Public hearings are generally the last hurdle for proponents before formal enactment and development permits. Two projects going to council next week highlight some minor changes to previously proposed projects:

988 West Broadway

This 10-storey office tower project was originally approved way back in 2011, and finally went forward in 2015. The project, by BlueSky Properties, was rezoned under the Metro Core plan to allow a 5.22 FSR density, and site clearing began in late 2015.

Changes: An amendment is being requested to suit the needs of a “prospective tenant”. The original plan had been to have a common area space on the top floor. The plan now calls for the common area space to be located on the 2nd floor, with the top floor being expanded for a tenant’s use.

  • Density increase from 5.22 to 5.52 FSR (heritage density is being purchased + public art contribution)
Amended proposal with additional 10th floor space

Amended proposal with additional 10th floor space

1575 West Georgia

This Coal Harbour proposal by Bosa Properties was originally unveiled in 2014. The site is currently improved with a 3-storey office building, and a small city-owned surface parking lot.

The project is moving forward with only small revisions as a result of staff recommendations and public feedback, with a one-storey reduction in height, a reduction in the unit count from 184 units to 175 units, and a reduction in density from 10.83 to 10.59 FSR.

1575 West Georgia_3

Height context perspective. Note concept tower heights for 1500 West Georgia (Bosa) and 1550 Alberni (Westbank) and 1400 Alberni (Wall). Concept tower heights are also included on Cardero at Georgia and Alberni corners.

1575 West Georgia_5