Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Brentwood Redevelopment Phase 1 initiated

Shape Properties has initiated its rezoning applications with the City of Burnaby for Phase 1 of the Brentwood Mall Redevelopment.  Last night, Burnaby City Council accepted the applications for review and has given the Planning Department authorization to work with Shape Properties to develop a "suitable plan of development for presentation to a Public Hearing on the understanding that a more detailed report will be submitted at a later date."

Phase 1 of the project will include the following:

  • a public plaza
  • 2 residential high-rise towers
  • a single story commercial building
  • underground parking for the towers and plaza
Phase 1 of the project will be situated at the northeast corner of Lougheed Hwy and Willingdon Ave next to Brentwood Station.

On the City of Burnaby website under Council Agendas > 2013 Agendas > 2013 January 28 under "General Information", a brief synopsis is provided describing Phase 1:

The specific intent of the subject rezoning proposal is to permit the development of the commercial component of Phase 1, the provision of the required public plaza at the corner of Willingdon Avenue and Lougheed Highway, the provision of the "High Street" connection between Halifax Street and Alpha Avenue complete with pedestrian connections to the plaza, and the development  of the underground parking and loading facilities necessary for Phase 1 commercial and residential development.
The subject application includes a signature building cantilevered over the Plaza area to punctuate the plaza's importance as the focal point of the development site.

The servicing requirements of the City include:

  • The construction of Lougheed Hwy across the development frontage to its final standard with a a separated urban trail, street trees, enhanced boulevards, street lighting and pedestrian lighting;
  • The construction of Willingdon Ave across the development frontage to its final standard with a a separated urban trail, street trees, enhanced boulevards, street lighting and pedestrian lighting;
  • The construction of an internal road through the site connecting Halifax Street to Alpha Ave with separated sidewalks, street trees, enhanced boulevards, street lighting and pedestrian lighting;
  • Construction of a Public Plaza over two levels complete with landscaping, pedestrian lighting, public art, seating, weather protection and vertical circulation;
  • Construction of Public Pedestrian pathways connecting the Public Plaza to the "High Street" complete with weather protection canopies, landscaping and pedestrian lighting;
  • Storm, sanitary sewer and water main upgrades as required.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Planning for park space

With the population the Brentwood area set to grow around Willingdon and Lougheed, the City of Burnaby is looking ahead at possible options to meet the subsequent growth in demand for park and recreational amenities.  The Burnaby NewsLeader article below has revealed 2 possible options that Burnaby is looking at.  Expansion of the Willingdon Heights Community Centre should take priority over the expansion of amenities at Confederation Park as the little community centre will be inadequate to handle the needs if the population immediately surrounding it.

Two park options for growing Brentwood

Burnaby's rapidly growing Brentwood town centre has over a dozen highrise towers either under construction or in the plans in addition to the several that already line Lougheed Highway.
The developments centre around Brentwood SkyTrain station, at Lougheed and Willingdon Avenue, which is key to the area's transportation plans, but what about meeting the recreation needs of the future residents?
Burnaby parks and recreation director Dave Ellenwood said the city is looking at two options for serving that population influx.
One is Willingdon Heights Park bounded by Gilmore and Carleton avenues and William Street and Douglas Road.
City hall is still trying to purchase the remaining properties on the Gilmore side of the triangular-shaped park, Ellenwood said. Once it has those parcels, the bigger footprint would allow the parks department greater flexibility in how it redevelops the park.
The second is the former site of the Willingdon Resource Centre at 250 Willingdon, next to Eileen Dailly Pool and the Confederation Seniors Centre.
A few years ago Burnaby developed a concept plan for the site, which looked at  integrating the pool with the seniors centre and possibly adding a community centre, he said. More feasibility studies will have to be done, likely over the next two to three years.
That site or the Willingdon Heights park site, or both, could be redeveloped to meet Brentwood's growth needs, he said.
As for timing, "it depends on how fast we want to serve that area and how fast that develops," as well as how soon the city can purchase the Gilmore properties and set aside the capital funding.
Similar planning work will have to be done around the Cameron Recreation Centre, since the area around Lougheed SkyTrain station is set to one day be significantly redeveloped with higher density projects, Ellenwood said.
A concept plan has also been done for Cameron looking at how it can be improved and identifying goals for the shorter term such as making more efficient and intense use of the facility.
Ellenwood noted that the property Cameron sits on is relatively large so if the city wanted to expand the rec centre that would be possible.
But that's all farther in the future compared to Bonsor Recreation Complex, which is higher up on the priority list as it's already seeing highrises under construction nearby.
"It's a longer term situation at Cameron because that area is not going to develop as fast as Metrotown."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Zeller's union fighting to the end

The unionized staff at Zellers in Brentwood Mall, the only unionized Zellers in BC, has lost its bid to be recognized by the incoming Target Corp.

Meanwhile, with the upcoming closure of Zellers underway, unconfirmed rumours of Sport Chek's entry into the space being vacated by Zellers have begun to swirl.  As we already know, the Sport Mart chain that was bought out by the parent company of Sport Chek will be shutting its doors everywhere, including the Brentwood location this March.  Sport Chek tends to have a larger retail space format and, according to the rumours,  Sport Chek would occupy one of the two floors of the Zellers space with another large retailer occupying the remaining floor.

This would confirm that Target will eventually make its entry in a new section of the future Brentwood Mall Redevelopment, most likely near the Entertainment Plaza and the current Zellers location.

Burnaby Now article on the union case below:

Target's 'Project Bacon' is a go at Brentwood

Zellers at Brentwood Centre is set to close as of March 14.
Approximately 150 store employees, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers' Union, were fighting to have the new owner, Target Canada, declared a successor to Zellers so that the U.S.-based retailer would be forced to honour the current collective agreement.
But in November, the Labour Relations Board of B.C. ruled against the union's application, stating in its ruling that Target and Zellers are two different types of department store retailers and that the U.S. company had purchased Zellers locations primarily for real estate.
"We're very upset," said Kim Novak, a communications representative for the union. "We're very sorry to see very hardworking people lose their jobs, essentially, when Target comes in in March - the store will be closing in March."
The union has started a web-based campaign at Targetfairness.ca, to garner support for Zellers employees and encourage Target to hire them at the new locations.
Target purchased 189 leases from Zellers in 2011 as part of an expansion venture code-named "Project Bacon," according to the ruling, as well as Zellers' pharmacy files, which were sold off, and the Cherokee brand name for its U.S. market.
In regards to the Brentwood location, the ruling stated there would be a hiatus, between six months and three years, before Target opens its store at Brentwood.
"Though the employees may perform similar jobs in both stores and the transaction agreement confirmed the transfer of leases, pharmacy records and the brand waiver (for Zellers' Cherokee brand), I find those are not sufficient for me to conclude there is a discernible continuity of Zellers' business," wrote Ritu Mahil, the board's vice-chair.
"The Target brand is unique and distinctive in the retail industry," Mahil stated in the ruling. "Target presented evidence of high awareness amongst Canadian consumers for the Target brand. Dr. (Stephen) Hoch (an expert witness for Target) gave evidence that there was no likelihood of consumer confusion between Zellers and Target. Dr. Hoch further stated that it is in Target's best interests to distance itself as much as possible from Zellers."
Lisa Gibson, the communications contact for Target Canada, was not available by phone Monday before press time.
The company announced in a press release last summer that 125 Zellers locations are being turned into Target locations this year, with more locations planned for early 2014 and beyond.
Each location will close for six to nine months for renovations before reopening as a Target store, the release added, and the company is spending more than $10 million to remodel the locations.
Target plans to turn the Zellers at Metropolis at Metrotown into a Target store, as well, and has been applying for city permits to change the signage there, but neither Burnaby location is on the list of stores that Target plans to open this year.
For more business news in Burnaby, see the NOW online at www.burnabynow.com.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Sport Mart and Zellers to close in March

Sport Mart and Zellers at Brentwood Mall will both be closing their doors for good this March.  Zellers has signs that its fixtures and shelves are for sale and Sport Mart has everything discounted at 30% off its lowest price tag on all items.

With Zellers gone and Target preparing to take over the space, I wonder if the existing section that houses Zellers will be torn down and rebuilt as part of the overall expansion of the mall or if it will just be renovated.  The Sport Mart space is near the opposite end of the mall and probably likely will not factor into Phase 1 of the redevelopment.