Thursday, April 27, 2017

First arcade since Circuit Circus

As a teenager, I regularly patronized the Circuit Circus arcade that used to occupy a space in the back of the old Brentwood Mall.  Now my kids might have an opportunity to experience the enjoyment of hanging around an arcade with friends.  This is the stuff that my kids have never been able to understand even when I've tried to describe the excitement of waiting for your turn to put a coin into an arcade machine to play your favorite game.  It was when we would place our quarter on the machine to let the player know that we were taking the next shot at having our name among the High Scores.  I digress...

Shape Properties is reportedly in talks to bring The Rec Room to the Entertainment Plaza of the Amazing Brentwood Development.  It has gone as far as Burnaby City Council which means that the idea has progressed well beyond just talks between The Rec Room and Shape Properties.  The Rec Room will bring much more entertainment options than the simple arcades of the eighties. But the simplicity of the eighties arcade worked for my generation. No more digressing...  Burnaby Now article below.

 / Burnaby Now
April 11, 2017 03:30 PM

The Brentwood neighbourhood could one day be home to an entertainment venue that includes billiards, a bowling alley, ping pong tables, virtual reality experiences, food and drinks all under one roof.
Shape Properties, the developer of the Amazing Brentwood, is looking to bring The Rec Room to 4501 Lougheed Hwy.
It’s a Cineplex Entertainment concept that took off in Edmonton two years ago as part of a pilot project. The movie company plans to open another 10 to 15 locations across the country over the coming years, ranging in size from 30,000 to 60,000 square feet. The Rec Room in Burnaby would be around 44,300 square feet.
The complex will see half of the space devoted to dining and live entertainment and the other half devoted to amusement games and feature attractions.
“I think this is a pretty new concept here, and I think it’s good we get a lot of information and also find out how it’s working in Edmonton,” said Mayor Derek Corrigan at a council meeting last week.
The proposed hours of liquor service are 9 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week, though The Rec Room would normally operate between 11 a.m. and 2 a.m., according to a staff report.
Whether there will be a Cineplex movie theatre is unknown, according to Lou Pelletier, the city’s director of planning and building.
“This particular proposal doesn’t start with the theatres; the theatres are on another level up, and might come from this company or another company in the future,” he said at the meeting.
The Rec Room would be located on the second floor of the west building in Phase 1 of the Brentwood Town Centre redevelopment.
© 2017 Burnaby Now

Friday, April 14, 2017

Which grocery name is next?

With Whole Foods having established itself in the Solo District as the 3rd major grocery store in the Brentwood area after Costco and Save-On-Foods, the question now arises of which grocery store will set up in the Amazing Brentwood location at Beta and Lougheed and later at the Concord Brentwood location on Dawson Street after Loblaw recently announced a store expansion.

Loblaws recently announced an expansion of stores across Canada and Brentwood would certainly make sense although Loblaw already has a foot in the Brentwood area through the recent opening of Shoppers Drug Mart in Solo District.

Loblaws to open 30 new stores in annual expansion

Up to 10,000 jobs could be added, company says, as it spends $1.3B renovating 500 stores

CBC News Posted: Apr 13, 2017 8:38 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 13, 2017 8:38 AM ET

Grocer Loblaw Companies Ltd. plans to spend $1.3 billion renovating 500 stores and opening 30 new ones this year, in an expansion plan that will include more fresh food offering at its Shoppers Drug Mart unit.
The grocery giant has made similar expansion plans in each of the past two years, spending $1.2 billion and adding 50 stores in 2015, and another $1 billion last year to do the same while focusing on upgrading existing locations.
This year's expansion will include "the continued roll out of Click & Collect e-commerce, improved health and wellness services, and the inclusion of fresh food at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations," the company said in a release.
Across all of its retail brands, the company currently has 2,400 locations across Canada.
The company says the expansion could add up to 10,000 retail, trade and construction jobs to its existing workforce of about 200,000 employees.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Willingdon Linear Park debate continues

As the Willingdon Linear Park gets set for construction this summer, the debate over its design continues and will likely continue long after it is built.  The linear park will connect Brentwood to Burnaby Heights between Brentlawn Drive and Hastings Street along the east side of Willingdon Avenue.  Cathy Griffin of HUB Cycling wrote the following piece to the Burnaby Now last month.

OPINION: Willingdon plan lacks vision

 / Burnaby Now
March 24, 2017 09:01 AM

Anyone travelling along Willingdon Avenue in North Burnaby could not have failed to notice that over the years the City of Burnaby has accumulated properties on the east side of Willingdon north of Brentwood mall. The city recently announced its plan to develop this land into what is being called the Willingdon Linear Park: a 1.2-kilometre greenway connecting rapidly growing, high-density Brentwood Town Centre with Hastings Street, Confederation Park and community amenities such as the library, community centre and high school.
There is much to like in the plan, including landscaping, benches and public art; however, there is also a significant flaw. A single path would be shared among people walking (some with mobility aids, strollers, children or dogs) and people cycling. Drivers turning onto and off Willingdon would face cyclists crossing in both directions from a curved path set in landscaping, so potentially hidden from clear view.
Research from UBC has identified shared paths as among the most hazardous types of infrastructure for cycling. Best practices from around the world support separating people walking from those cycling, particularly in an urban environment where there will be many users and there are frequent intersections to cross.
Underlying these design issues is the lack of community consultation. A single open house was held with relatively little notification despite the fact that many thousands of Burnaby citizens will be affected and millions of taxpayer dollars are wrapped up in the project. Not only has the city neglected to adequately consult on this project, it has neglected to acknowledge and address by far the most frequent concern of those who did attend the open house: the safety and suitability of the proposed shared path. The result is a plan that neglects the needs of the people it is intended to serve.
Since 1995, Willingdon Avenue has been identified in the Burnaby Transportation Plan as a commuter cycling route, to be built when adjacent development takes place. Burnaby’s newly adopted Environmental Sustainability Strategy confirms the direction of the transportation plan, calling for making walking and cycling easier, safer and more comfortable, and emphasizes the need for high quality north/south cycling connections. However, the Jan. 17 report recommending the Willingdon Linear Park fails to even acknowledge these. Mayor Corrigan has recently stated Burnaby is developing a new transportation plan.
This is welcome news, and it raises an important question: should we, the citizens of Burnaby, be spending $8 million on a project that not only disregards our current planning policies but is even less likely to meet our new ones? 
Willingdon Avenue represents a wonderful opportunity. Taking a prudent approach and delaying implementation of a final design until the new transportation plan is completed would enable the creation of a state-of-the-art public space: one that includes not only aesthetic enhancements but also the safest and most comfortable accommodation for people walking, cycling and driving on this crucial north/south corridor.

Acting chairperson, Cathy Griffin, Burnaby Committee of HUB Cycling
© 2017 Burnaby Now