Brentwood Mall Redevelopment to occur in phases
The project will take place in several phases over several years. The map below shows where the phases will occur.
Entertainment Plaza completed in 3 years
Representatives of Shape Properties indicated that the Brentwood Mall Redevelopment (BMR) will begin with the Entertainment Plaza (EP) as Phase 1 of the project. The EP will include the "Fashion District High Street" which project representatives likened to Robson Street with space for pedestrians and a road for cars to go through between Willingdon and Lougheed with parking along both sides. Another representative made the comparison to Park Royal in West Vancouver. The EP will be an all-weather gathering place. It was mentioned that there would be a stage for live performances and speaking. Shape Properties hopes to get approval to move ahead with this phase by the end of this year and begin construction in 2013. The EP is expected to take 3 years to build and will include an open plaza surrounded by buildings and overhead walkways connecting to the existing mall.
The construction of the Village District will begin roughly 3 years after the construction of the EP, according to representatives. Representatives mentioned the probability of a grocery store in the Village District and envision specialty stores such as a meat shop, cleaners and other service oriented businesses. The commercial building along Beta Ave at the eastern end of the site will feature a rooftop garden. The Village District will also feature a small square.
Big Box area
With the expansion of the mall westward in the northwest part of the site geared towards the arrival of a Target Store (a representative mentioned that the retail giant wants to open a store in Brentwood), the retail space in this section will cater to larger stores. A representative mentioned the possibility of a "Future Shop" type of store along with some other larger retailers to complete the range of shopping options at Bentwood Mall from small to large to big box retail amenities.
Both the Village and Big Box areas would be part of Phase 2a and Phase 2b of the project.
No Bus Loop
It was mentioned that the bus loop will disappear to make room for the EP and buses will line along Lougheed Hwy between Alpha & Willingdon and along Willingdon Ave between Lougheed & Halifax. In order to change direction, the buses will enter the mall site and move along the high street to turn around.
Bike lanes and wider sidewalks
The plan for Willingdon and Lougheed involves widened sidewalks and separated bike lanes along their lengths adjacent to the mall site. The sidewalk will be double lined with trees and on street parking is envisioned.
No Library/Community Centres for Brentwood
Representatives of the City of Burnaby were on hand to answer questions as well. When asked about a library or community centre, it was stated that the amenities at Confederation Park in Burnaby Heights are meant to serve the needs of all of the northwest quadrant of Burnaby which includes Brentwood.
If this is the case, the widened sidewalk and separated cycling lane along the new Brentwood Mall needs to be extended beyond the mall along Willingdon all the way to Hastings in Burnaby Heights. This will create meaningful connectivity between Brentwood and the Heights neighbourhood. Human powered access needs to be given an opportunity as motor access has had exclusive reign for too long.
London Drugs space to be torn down
It was mentioned that the London Drugs building at the north end of the mall will eventually be removed in the "far off future" to make room for a future lower density townhouse development which will respect the tranquility of the Brentwood Park single-family homes immediately to the north the mall.
The peak of the Brentwood Skyline
A graphic (below) showing the current skyline with an outline of the future residential towers shows that the buildings will be the tallest in the Brentwood Neighbourhood and some of the tallest in Metro Vancouver.
Traffic in Brentwood Park a concern
Many residents of Brentwood Park brought up the issue of increased traffic in the neighbourhood that will result from the BMR. A representative mentioned that perhaps TransLink take the #134 Brentwood Stn / Lake City Stn bus off Brentlawn Drive to ease traffic. Although the bus along Brentlawn Drive has been the bane of the existence of many residents living along the stretch between Willingdon and Delta Avenues, more than merely removing the bus from there needs to be done to deal with traffic. Many residents are talking about traffic calming measures such as speed bumps to deter rat runners.
Notables in attendance
- Burnaby Councillor Pietro Calendino was in attendance and was active in asking Shape representatives questions about the project.
- MLA Richard Lee took some time out from his busy photo op schedule to check out the Open House as the BMR will unfold directly across the street from his office on Willingdon Ave.