Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Muji entering Vancouver retail market

I have already mentioned Japanese retailer, Uniqlo as a potential retailer that could be a fit in the Amazing Brentwood development and Uniqlo has been said to be preparing to enter Metrotown. Now there is word that another Japanese retailer, Muji is looking at entering the Vancouver retail scene. Shape Properties should have its eyes on this retailer as a potential retail tenant.

Vancouver Sun article below

Asian retail giant Muji likely to enter Vancouver next year

Posted On: December 4, 2016 | Last Updated: December 4, 2016 7:49 PM PST

With Vancouver’s retail sector continuing to outperform other Canadian markets, one industry observer says the city can expect an explosion of new brands, both international and domestic, in the coming year, with a prominent Asian retailer leading the way.

That would be Japanese clothing and accessories brand Muji, which is expected to come to Vancouver in 2017, said Craig Patterson, editor-in-chief of industry publication Retail Insider. Muji, known for its minimalist goods, operates about 300 stores outside of Japan, including three in Toronto, its only Canadian presence to date.
“I don’t know where Muji is (looking to locate in Vancouver) just yet, but I think it’s safe to say the Vancouver market will be seeing an announcement very soon,” Patterson said. “I’m actually surprised Muji didn’t enter Vancouver first. It might have just been because of a real-estate play, but Vancouver to me would have made more sense as a market because the brand awareness for Muji is higher.”
Officials from Muji Canada could not be reached for comment.
Vancouver’s retail market, driven by wealthy locals, tourists taking advantage of the devalued Canadian dollar, and new immigrants, currently ranks as Canada’s top location in terms of annual sales-per-square-foot at more than $1,000. Toronto sits second at around $860.
“Vancouver is a very young retail market and many brands have not yet opened street stores,” said Mario Negris, executive vice president of CBRE’s retail group in Vancouver. “We anticipate a vast number of new entrants into the downtown retail landscape. … In the mid-market, we anticipate a revitalization on streets such as Robson and Granville as larger international users solidify locations in the market.”
Patterson, when asked about brands other than Muji that could come to Metro Vancouver next year, said their may be as many as 30 brands looking at the city.
“I can go on for an hour,” he said, noting that Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre — one of Canada’s most lucrative malls — provides a good example for Vancouver, given the similar consumer demographics. “You can actually go to the floor plan of Yorkdale, see who’s opening, and kind of see who’s coming to Vancouver. Yorkdale and Toronto’s Eaton Centre are the two malls that usually get the first stores in Canada for a lot of brands.”
That is because, despite Vancouver’s high sales number, the city continues to suffer from a relative lack of space. According to recent data from the Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity at Ryerson University, Vancouver’s per-capita mall space (at 11.4 square feet for every person living in the region) falls far behind the same figure for not only Toronto (at 16.4), but also Alberta (15.2 for Calgary, 16.2 for Edmonton).
That is why, according to Patterson, brands such as Forever 21 and Victoria’s Secret actually chose Alberta as their first Canadian locations. But Vancouver, he noted, continues to hold an edge as the preferred entry point for luxury brands: Jaeger-LeCoultre, St. Laurent, Rolex, Delvaux and Berluti, for instance.
Vancouver also has another demographic advantage for certain retailers, one that makes sense for Muji and other Asian retailers: The city’s large population of residents with links to Asia means that well-known brands from that market have a built-in recognition. Patterson said that is why another major Japanese brand, clothing retailer Uniqlo, may also be looking to come to the city.
“Vancouver is unquestionably going to get one (Uniqlo outlet). … Given that it is already in Toronto with two stores, Vancouver is almost a no-brainer,” Patterson said of Uniqlo. “It’s just a matter of when they can find the real estate. You will likely see them going into some of Vancouver’s best real estate. So they’re probably looking at somewhere in, or near, Pacific Centre, and they will look at a mall that does high sales per square-foot. You won’t see them trailblazing.”
Ironically, many of the brands that have not expressed interest in Vancouver are Canadian. Patterson said that, while Vancouver’s own Aritzia started the Babaton brand, it chose Toronto for its first standalone location. Another popular brand, Canada Goose, also has not expressed interest despite doing record-breaking business at its new standalone store at Yorkdale, which opened recently.
But Patterson said other names are lining up for potential openings in 2017. Among those are coffee boutique Nespresso (possibly in Oakridge), H&M’s COS brand, European apparel retailers Reiss, Sandro and Maje, as well as New York-based eyewear retailer Warby Parker.
“Just given the strength of Vancouver, you’d have to have a catastrophic event to stop retailers from looking at the region,” he said. “Let’s just say that, if I was an international retailer, Vancouver would definitely be in my sights.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

3 towers and commercial space for Gilmore Place Phase 1

The first phase of Onni's Gilmore place will include 3 towers at the corner of Gilmore Ave and Lougheed Hwy.

Posted on 

First Phase of Gilmore Place to Include Three Towers, 1,563 Units

The first phase of Onni’s large scale mixed-use project known as Gilmore Place, goes before City of Burnaby council next week. The 12.9 acre site next to the Gilmore Skytrain Station in the Brentwood area of Burnaby was initially approved via master plan earlier this year, though requires further detailed rezoning applications for each phase of the project.
The Gilmore Place master plan represents one of the larger projects in Metro Vancouver currently, with over 2.5 Million SF of residential development and 1 million Sf of commercial space.
Phase 1 of the multi-phase project is the subject of this rezoning and includes:
  • a 64-storey signature tower with 643 units
  • a 51-storey tower with 510 units
  • a 43-storey tower with 410 units
  • 71,498 SF of residential amenity space atop the commercial podium
  • 291,652 SF of commercial space in a large 3-storey podium
  • large format retail and smaller CRUs as well as potential office and educational space on upper levels
  • total density of 6.6 FAR
  • connection to Skytrain station
  • 1,720 total parking stalls


The application describes the design rationale:
“The proposed tower design complements the quality and timelessness of the commercial and public open space components advanced under Rezoning Reference #15-54. Tower I and Tower III are designed in tandem to support the signature tower at the corner ofGilmore Avenue and Lougheed Highway. Tower I and Tower III are the counterpoint to Tower II in the use of dark and light colours, drawing from a charcoal and white motif. The subject tower is distinct from the other two towers in that it breaks up the verticality by using offset balconies with fritted balcony glass in a zipper like pattern. The tower terminates in a large lantern element at the corner as a beacon element symbolizing the entry into the Brentwood Town Centre. At the 35th floor is a Sky Lounge the provides residents within the Phase I the opportunity to have social gatherings with unobstructed views to the west and North Shore Mountains.
Residential entries are clearly demarcated on the exterior of the building with floor to ceiling glass, metal and stone elements. Atop the commercial podium is an expansive residential amenity, complete with 71,498 sq.ft. of indoor amenity area with fitness facility (gym, yoga, running and spinning), movie theatre, games room, lounge, golf simulators, bowling alley, indoor and outdoor pools, steam room and sauna, half-court basketball court, three party rooms, four guest suites, indoor and outdoor children’s play area, study centre, kitchen facilities, karaoke room, outdoor dog run, pet wash area and extensive outdoor leisure and landscaped area.
Within Phase I the Gilmore Plaza provides an open air, but weather protected linkage between on-street bus service on Gilmore Avenue and the SkyTrain station, with access to convenience commercial, signature retail, and anchor tenants. The Gilmore plaza is also connected by a grand staircase to second level commercial and retail uses, with opportunities for direct connection to the SkyTrain ticketing level. Movement to the second and third commercial levels is also accommodated by several escalator and elevator banks to ensure universal access and inclusion. The upper commercial levels are characterized by larger format uses with smaller commercial uses at the ground level to engage passersby. The third level allows for more flexible uses including service commercial uses, medical dental offices and institutional uses such as education and training facilities.”

    Monday, November 14, 2016

    Escala and Triomphe on Gilmore

    The eastern street front of Gilmore Ave is about to dramatically change as two developments are now progressing.  The Triomphe project by Millennium Development at the southeast corner of Halifax and Gilmore is replacing the old International Sausage House which has been demolished.

    Across Halifax on the north side, the Escala site has been excavated.  Escala is being built by Ledingham McAllister along Gilmore Ave to Douglas Rd.

    The showroom on Gilmore titled, 'Seasons'is for the the low-rise development by Ledmac on the north side of Lougheed Hwy across the street from Rev's Bowling.

    View to Metrotown

    This unobstructed view to Metrotown from the Sears rooftop will no longer exist by 2020.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2016

    Amacon's 'The Dawson' at full height

    The Dawson development by Amacon has reached it's full height.  The sold-out low-rise building will sit atop a commercial front slated to be a restaurant on the southwest corner of Dawson St and Willingdon Ave.  The restaurant is yet to be named.

    Sunday, November 6, 2016

    Koby's Produce Town ownership change

    I had earlier posted that Koby's was closing down because their stock of produce was low as the shelves were more than half empty.

    Driving along Rosser Ave tonight, I was pleasantly surprised that Koby's Produce Town is still open.   When I asked the person at the counter, I was told that it was taken over by new owners and that what I had seen earlier was the transition.  Noticing that there was still no kimchi in the cooler, I had to ask.  Luckily, their supplier will soon be delivering the good stuff.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    Willingdon Greenway concerns raised

    As the proposed Willingdon Greenway linking Brentwood Town Centre and Willingdon Heights continues to move forward, a local cyclist group is raising some concerns.  The greenway will run along the the east side of Willingdon Ave between Brentlawn Drive and Hastings Street.  The current design will require cyclists and pedestrians to use the same path whereas the cycling advocacy group HUB is suggesting 2 separated paths along the greenway.

    Burnaby Now story below

    Path problems: Moreno Zanotto, a member of HUB Burnaby and the City of Burnaby’s transportation committee, is unhappy with the city’s proposed Willingdon Greenway, which would be a shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists travelling between Brentlawn Drive and Hastings Street.   Photograph By Jennifer Gauthier

    Cyclists raise concerns about greenway proposal

    OCTOBER 6, 2016 10:59 AM

    Cycling advocates in Burnaby are standing firm against a proposed shared pathway that would link the future Brentwood development to Hastings Street.
    HUB Burnaby, the local branch of a non-profit organization that promotes cycling in the community, is calling on the City of Burnaby to rethink the design for its proposed Willingdon Greenway.
    The current design is a 1.2-kilometre multi-use pathway that would be accessible to both pedestrians and cyclists. It’s proposed to run from Brentlawn Drive to Hastings Street, connecting Brentwood Town Centre to the north part of the city.
    There are already several similar urban trails throughout the city.
    In the past, HUB Burnaby has sat back as the paths were constructed, but enough is enough, according to Moreno Zanotto, a HUB Burnaby member and a representative on the city’s transportation committee.
    “Their effectiveness is predicated on their non-use. So as long as pedestrian volumes stay really low and cyclist’ volumes stay really low, they can work, but as soon as those numbers start increasing, the number of conflicts between road users explodes,” Zanotto told the NOW.
    The main concerns with the proposed Willingdon Greenway are safety and growth of transportation modes like cycling and walking, Zanotto said.
    Chances of a collision are especially high with cyclists travelling at higher speeds than pedestrians and even more so if they’re forced to dodge other obstacles along the four-metre-wide path, including benches, park spaces and art pieces as proposed, Zanotto said.
    A shared path will also discourage prospective cyclists from using the greenway as a commuter route, he added.
    Currently, less than one per cent of trips within the City of Burnaby are made by bike, and it’s been that way for at least the past 30 years, according to research conducted by HUB using data from TransLink. During that time, the city has focused on urban trails, Zanotto said.
    “It’s not an effective facility in increasing cycling, and we’re not seeing growth,” he said. “We need a new approach.”
    Zanotto, who lives in the Heights, said he wouldn’t use the proposed greenway unless it was the only option. Instead, he and other cyclists in the area prefer the Sea-to-River Parkway that runs north to south along Carleton Avenue.
    What he’d like to see along the Willingdon corridor is a separated bike lane like those in Vancouver or European countries like the Netherlands.
    “They’re not only safer, they represent really good choices for encouraging cycling,” Zanotto said.
    HUB Burnaby is currently circulating a petition asking the City of Burnaby to build a separated cycle path on the Willingdon Greenway. The petition is aiming for 100 signatures before it's presented to council. So far, 21 people have signed. To sign the petition and learn more about what HUB's proposal for the greenway, click here.
    On Sept. 14, the City of Burnaby held an open house to provide residents with more information regarding the proposed Willingdon Greenway.
    The NOW contacted the City of Burnaby for details on when the project would go before council but have yet to hear back.

    © 2016 Burnaby Now

    Monday, October 17, 2016

    Onni project to be called Gilmore Place

    The following is a writeup from  Photos are also from Onni's site.




    With over 12 acres of high-density mixed-use retail, office and residential development conveniently located at the Gilmore SkyTrain Station, the master-planned Gilmore Place community will soon be an exciting new urban centre for Burnaby. Located at the intersection of Lougheed Highway and Gilmore Avenue, this vibrant high-traffic retail community promises to be a draw for neighbouring communities, passers-by, and residents alike. Its prime location adjacent to Brentwood Centre, also currently under massive redevelopment, means that the Gilmore Place community will truly be at the centre of Burnaby’s larger revitalization and urban growth master-plan.
    The first phase of commercial space is preleasing now for Gilmore Place’s dynamic urban and populous community. Don’t miss this chance to be one of the first retailers to become a landmark in this prime revitalized and connected neighbourhood, with the opportunity to provide convenience and amenities for many future residents, and to be part of an upcoming retail destination for countless visitors. Gilmore Place will be one of the most sought-after and visited urban centres in Burnaby and Metro Vancouver.
    • Over 12 acres of land
    • Up to 2.5 million sq. ft. of residential development and 1 million sq. ft. of commercial and retail space – preleasing now!
    • Large format, big-box and CRU retail opportunities
    • Customizable opportunities available
    • Transit-oriented, at Gilmore SkyTrain station
    • Approximately 15 minutes to downtown Vancouver, by SkyTrain
    • Located between high-density routes, Lougheed Highway and Gilmore Avenue
    • Located adjacent to Brentwood’s community redevelopment

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    Koby's Produce Town closes its doors

    Roughly a year and three months after it first opened its doors Koby's Produce Town has closed down. Sadly, I have lost the source of my favourite kimchi.  It probably struggled due to its close proximity to Save-On-Foods and Whole Foods.

    Saturday, August 27, 2016

    Milano tower development under way on Alpha

    As the Brentwood and Solo projects continue to rise and attract attention, the 30 story Milano tower by Solterra Development Corp is now quietly under construction as the site has already been excavated and the foundation is being put in place. The tower will be located at the southern edge of Brentwood Town Centre, away from the future hustle and bustle around Brentwood Station but conveniently close enough to its amenities.

    North of Dawson westward

    South of Dawson southward

    Monday, June 6, 2016

    Two-tower Development at Douglas and Goring

    While the Concord Brentwood development gathers steam at Delta and Douglas, a proposed 2-tower and townhouse development at Goring and Douglas is coming up for a public hearing on June 28 following its first reading at a Burnaby City Council meeting on June 13.  It is being proposed by Chris Dikeakos Architects.

    The development will be located north of the Douglas Rd and Goring St intersection, east of Springer Ave and west of Holdom Ave.

    According to this map, Douglas Rd will eventually end with a cul-de-sac when heading west on Douglas Rd between Springer Ave and Lougheed Hwy while Dawson Street will connect through to Beta Ave when Concord Brentwood is built

    Monday, May 30, 2016

    Concord Brentwood unveils Hillside West

    Concord Pacific has revealed (images below) what the first towers will look like and where they will be situated on its massive Woodlands site.

    The style reminds me of the old BC Gas building  called, "The Cube" at 1333 West Georgia in Vancouver which, I was told as a youngster, was designed to withstand earthquakes.

    (image below from

    Hillside West will sit at the site's highest point on the south side of the newly named "Lougheed Parkway" stretch of Lougheed Hwy, across from Brentwood Gate.  It will be at the most westerly point along Lougheed consisting of two towers.  The next two towers will be east of the first two and will be aptly called, "Hillside East."

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016

    Pho D'lite open at Solo District

    I noticed yesterday that Pho D'lite is now open at Solo District.

    Meanwhile, the signs for Solo 3 have gone up on the south side of Skyline Drive.

    Friday, May 6, 2016

    Brentwood Three sold out

    According to the following mailout by the Amazing Brentwood sales team, the first three towers available have been sold out within 21 months of the offering of Brentwood One.  The next residential offering will be in 2017.

    Thank you for all your support in helping The Amazing Brentwood sell out 1,400 homes at Brentwood ONE, TWO and THREE in only 21 months.
    The excitement isn’t over. The next opportunity to own at The Amazing Brentwood comes in Spring 2017, continuing to offer homebuyers the best home investment in Canada.
    Come experience The Amazing Brentwood difference by visiting our award-winning, 15,000 sq.ft. presentation centre and three show homes – open 12-5pm daily. Enjoy a coffee and cupcake in our complimentary market and learn about the 8 fundamentals behind Brentwood’s success.
    We look forward to seeing you at our Presentation Centre.
    Be Amazing,

    Reggie Tanzola & Andy Seto
    The Amazing Brentwood Team
    p. 604.563.8386
    Open 12-5pm Daily or by Appointment
    4567 Lougheed Hwy at Brentwood Mall

    Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    Changing views from Brentwood Station

    Regular SkyTrain commuters have been witnessing daily changes north and west of the Brentwood Station platform.
    The following are changes over periods spanning years.





    November 2014

    February 2016

    May 2016