Monday, May 27, 2019

37-storey office tower proposed for Burnaby's Brentwood district

Gilmore Place is already on its way to building the tallest residential tower.  It will also be able to boast the largest office tower in Burnaby.  Daily Hive news story below.

37-storey office tower proposed for Burnaby's Brentwood district: Burnaby's largest office tower has been proposed for the new Gilmore Place redevelopment in the Brentwood Town Centre area.

Starbucks increasing presence at Brentwood

The first corporate logo has appeared at the station entrance level of the Entertainment Plaza of the Amazing Brentwood development.  With the retail portion of Brentwood scheduled to open in 2019, we can expect more revelations regarding store and restaurant locations.  The Starbucks logo can now be seen from the street.  Starbucks already has a location at the rear of the mall near London Drugs.  Other locations in the area include Solo District and across the street from there on  Lougheed Hwy, along with one on the corner of Dawson and Gilmore.


While we wait for for new retailers to reveal themselves at Brentwood, two pizza shops have quietly arrived in the area along with a Poke shop..  A Domino's pizza has opened on Dawson St and Willingdon Ave.  A Pizza Pizza and Pacific Poke have opened in the old plaza which already houses Starbucks, FatBurger and Buffalo's World Famous Wings.


Saturday, March 9, 2019

Brentwood Two topped off

The Brentwood Two tower has reached full height and has become one of the two tallest buildings in Burnaby.  Brentwood One is the other one.  Both buildings will be occupied by the end of this year with residents beginning to occupy Brentwood One by this summer.  Despite having some media present to commemorate the topping off of Brentwood Two, no mention was made of any new retailers or restaurants.

Burnaby’s tallest building ‘topped off’ as Brentwood megaproject grows: Steven Cirotto stood at the microphone Friday and talked about growing up in the Heights. The operations manager for the construction company Axiom said he still remembers how special Christmas . . .

Friday, January 4, 2019

Gilmore Place ready for excavation

As the Amazing Brentwood approaches Phase One completion this year, the other major station centered development of the area is preparing to get digging.  Onni's massive Gilmore Place development will include the tallest tower in the region and will be a gateway to the Brentwood area of Burnaby on the Millenium SkyTrain Line.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Burnaby Lake Arena should be twinned

The City of Burnaby has recently approved its Proposed Priority Community Amenity Projects.  In my opinion, it is welcome news for city residents as community centre capacity will significantly increase for the Brentwood area with the replacement of the Willingdon Community Centre and the expansion of amenity space at Confederation Park replacing the previously torn down Willingdon Heights Community Centre and the North Burnaby Gym.

Also among the priorities is the replacement of Burnaby Lake Arena and CG Brown Memorial Pool.  Anyone familiar with arena scheduling will tell you that there is an extremely greater demand for arena ice and floor time than the capacity that currently exists between Burnaby Lake, Bill Copeland and Kensington arenas.  Between Burnaby Minor Hockey, Burnaby New West Ringette, skating groups,  Burnaby Minor Lacrosse, and Metro Minor Ball Hockey Association, not to mention public skating programs and events, there is not enough time to fully meet the demand that currently exists for arena space.  Burnaby Minor Hockey Association is one of the largest minor hockey associations in the region with kids ending up on a waitlist to play.  The association is also required to rent private ice from Burnaby 8 Rinks to meet practice and game requirements for the players that are able to play.  Metro Minor Ball Hockey Association turns away a larger number of kids every year as there is not enough floor time for ball hockey in the spring and summer.

Even the upcoming addition of 2 more sheets of ice near Byrne Creek Secondary School will not meet demand for ice and floor time.  Furthermore, population growth projections suggest that even a twinning of Burnaby Lake Arena will not be adequate.  Building one rink versus 2 attached rinks may cost more in the short term,  but the average building and maintenance cost per rink is significantly lower when considering that the arena cooling system is a major cost that is capable of freezing two or more ice sheets and would be a financial waste to install a system for merely one new sheet of ice.

Looking at the size of the property at Kensington Ave between Sprott Street and Joe Sakic Way,  there is more than enough room to accommodate more than two new sheets of ice and provide the same or more amount of parking spaces.

With Burnaby 8 Rinks, Fortius Centre, the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex soccer fields and the proposed future Tennis Canada Training facility adjacent to the soccer fields, the area north of Hwy 1 on Kensington Ave is developing  into a major sports destination.  The City of Burnaby already has a Div 2 NCAA hockey team playing out of Bill Copeland Arena (SFU Hockey). The City is hosting an IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship exhibition game between Russia and Switzerland this month and will host the World Ringette Championships in 2019.  The addition of more arena capacity will give the City of Burnaby a greater profile as a potential host city for more events int the future and bringing spin-off tourism revenue.  With a steadily increasing demand for arena ice and floor time not showing signs of abating, it would be a wise decision if the City of Burnaby studies the feasibility of twinning Burnaby Lake Arena instead of merely replacing it and looking to maximize the potential future economic benefits of such an expansion.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Community Centre and Tesla coming to Amazing Brentwood

The two opposite ends of the Brentwood Mall site have recently been discussed at the December Burnaby Council meetings.  As part of Phase 2 of the Amazing Brentwood Project, Shape Properties has forwarded its plan to construct a residential high-rise tower atop a commercial podium that will also include a new Brentwood community centre at the northwest corner of the Brentwood Mall site.

Shape Properties has also presented a letter seeking approval for the building of a Tesla showroom within the former Sears building at the eastern end of the Brentwood Mall site.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Complete network of barrier free sidewalks must be a priority

It has been a while since I have talked about the importance of sidewalks in creating complete neighborhoods (sidewalks) and how the current system of sidewalk-building wrongfully places the burden of building those sidewalks on existing property owners.  In a region where property values have unreasonably soared beyond the reach of new buyers, the property tax burden has accordingly increased for existing property owners, putting more tax dollars into government coffers.  That revenue coupled with increased revenues from the density bonus funds collected by the City of Burnaby should allow the city to spare some funds for improving our network of sidewalks for people with disabilities.  In 2018, we should not be allowing disabled people to struggle with getting around their neighborhoods like the poor fellow in the Bunaby Now article below.


Scooter rider says Burnaby sidewalks are harrowing

A senior worries about safety along Smith Avenue in the Metrotown area

 Burnaby Now
OCTOBER 13, 2018 11:38 AM

Wayne McQueen navigates the bumps and broken sections of sidewalk along Smith Avenue in the Metrotown area in his motorized scooter
The 71-year-old manages to be mobile in his scooter despite having a condition called charcot foot, a result of his diabetes, which can cause the bones in his feet to break if he walks. But he doesn’t understand why a big city like Burnaby can’t get its sidewalks into shape for people like him in scooters or mothers pushing strollers.
“It’s very hard to manoeuvre with a mobility device,” McQueen said, adding that he’d like to see ramps on all corners along Smith Avenue. “It also would help young women with their strollers to have a ramp.”
At Smith and Sandell, the sidewalk, which is only on one side of the street, ends with no curb letdown, but a pathway going east with bark mulch allows McQueen to eventually cross the street. Father down at Hertford and Smith again there is no curb letdown and McQueen turns east and goes down half a block till he can access the road where there is a private driveway, then he rides along the street until he finds another driveway to get back onto the sidewalk.
In places, there are small, steep inclines on the sidewalk beside a driveway where he gathers speed in his scooter to make it up the hill, something that make him fearful for his safety.
“I could have tipped the thing over backward because it’s too steep,” he said of the sidewalk beside a driveway.
McQueen said he often feels very nervous riding his scooter in traffic as he goes down Smith Avenue to his doctor’s appointment with traffic.
“I think (city officials) need to take into consideration standards for making things mobility-safe – that doesn’t seem to be their priority, that’s just my opinion,” McQueen said, who has lived in Burnaby since 2008.