Friday, January 13, 2012

Solo District in the NewsLeader


New Brentwood-area project could start in July, include grocery store


Construction on a major development at the southwest corner of Willingdon Avenue and Lougheed Highway could start as soon as July, with the first phase to include a 42,000-square-foot space for a proposed grocery store.
That's according to a brochure released by Colliers International to promote leasing of retail space in the new project, dubbed Solo.
If it receives final approvals from city hall, the development, by Jim Bosa's Appia Group, would be built on just over six acres and eventually include four residential towers totalling 1,351 units and about 260,000 square feet of office space.
The proposed first phase would comprise a 45-storey residential tower with 374 units, the proposed grocery store and an additional 10,700 square feet of retail space.
The proposed second phase, estimated to start construction in January 2013, would include a 48-storey tower with 284 housing units, a 12,500-square-foot proposed pharmacy, a 4,800-square-foot proposed bank, another 4,300 square feet of retail or restaurant space, and about 250,000 square feet of office.
The brochure estimates phase three would start construction in July 2013 on a 39-storey tower with 328 units and 12,900 square feet of retail space. Phase four would consist of a 43-storey tower with 365 units, almost 14,500 square feet of retail and 10,300 square feet of office space. That is estimated to begin building in January 2014.
When the four phases are complete, the project is proposed to have 1,968 parking stalls for residents, 445 spots for the retail users and 530 spaces for the office users.
The proposed grocery store, pharmacy, and bank would be built along the Lougheed frontage while much of the offices would front onto Willingdon.
A "high street" would be built cutting through the site, running east-west, featuring retail storefronts, pedestrian walkways and street furniture. According to a city staff report last fall, the entire project aims to be pedestrian friendly with front doors of commercial spaces opening directly to the street.
The development site, bounded by Willingdon, Lougheed, Rosser Avenue and the north lane behind Dawson Street, currently includes a car dealership, Milestone's restaurant, auto-repair shop and other light industrial properties.
An earlier proposal for the site which received second reading in 2008 comprised two highrise office buildings, three highrise apartment towers and ground-oriented commercial and retail.
Since then, Burnaby council adopted a change to the city’s zoning bylaw expanding density bonus provisions to certain zones within the four town centres of Brentwood, Metrotown, Lougheed and Edmonds.
As a result, the developer produced a new plan that takes advantage of the potential added density.
Units will range in size from 413-square-foot studios to 1,750-square-foot three-bedrooms-plus-den units. Five per cent, or 68 units, will be adaptable for persons with disabilities, said the staff report.
The developer plans to build to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold standard, and the project now includes significant plaza and open green space.
As part of the density bonusing program, the developer will provide an amenity bonus for the first phase of more than $8.8 million. Of that, $2 million will come in the form of a 4,570-square-foot city-owned community space on-site and $6.8 million cash-in-lieu to be used for future Brentwood area amenities. Of that, $1.36 million will be designated for affordable and special needs housing projects.
Each of the four phases will require its own rezoning process.

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