Friday, November 5, 2010

More density and taller buildings to come?

On November 23, a public hearing will be held at city hall at 7pm to discuss a proposal to change zoning laws to allow increased densities and taller buildings than currently allowed in Burnaby's town centres. Although not known who brought forth the proposal, it can be guessed that one or more of the developers currently holding properties in Burnaby are behind it.

Earlier this year, Brentwood Town Centre Mall was sold to Shape Properties, a local company that has stated its interest in redeveloping the existing mall and parking lots around it. The plan will very likely include a remodelling and expansion of the mall and a combination of residential and office/commercial development around it. Expect this project by Shape Properties to be the largest single development in the history of North Burnaby which will further entrench the mall site as the core of Brentwood Town Centre.

Hopefully, the project will be able to create more pedestrian-oriented accessibility to and from the site including the area immediately next to Brentwood Station and also consider the potential for developing a commercial zone just north of the station with quick access to and from the station to take advantage of the increasing numbers of commuters using the Millennium Line. Something similar to the shops in and around Commercial-Broadway Station would be a good idea.

The lot located just west of the station (right photo), formerly the site of Brentwood Brake and Muffler and a gas station, will most likely be part of a community amenity space and has been described as potentially being used as a public "celebration square" or "gathering place". Several other projects that have been on hold in the Brentwood area may be awaiting zoning change approvals to take advantage of the increased height and density allowances.

The benefit to the city in return for allowing more density is in the form of cash paid by the developer for a fund geared towards the building of public amenities and social housing or in the form of a public space or facility being built into the project by the developer at no cost to the city.

Since I will not be working during the evening of November 23, I will experience attending a public hearing for the first time in my life. It should be interesting and informative to hear varying viewpoints along with potential ideas associated with the proposal.

You can read more about this topic in the following Burnaby Newsleader article.


  1. Hi,

    Do you know, by any chance, what's going to be built on the NE corner of the Lougheed Hwy and Willingdon? I found some interesting info and pictures of the future development on the SW corner but nothing about the former Minit-Tune site that's been cleared for quite a while.

  2. Hello Gloria,

    You are the first person to comment on my blog! Thank you. It took me a while to see your comment as I'm still trying to figure out the intricacies of blogger.

    Until you posted the link to skyscraperpage, I had not yet known the details of what the project on the SW corner might look like. It looks really impressive.

    As for the NE corner next to the station, the City of Burnaby mentions the location in its "Brentwood Town Centre Development Plan" on its website ( in the following excerpt:

    " c) A minimum 1 acre public town square is proposed with an urban character suitable for public celebrations and surrounded by pedestrian arcades with high-vitality drop-in commercial activities such as cafes and restaurants. This town square should be City controlled. This town square is desired on the central Brentwood Mall site near the Lougheed/Willingdon intersection. This feature could be provided in conjunction with major redevelopment of the Mall site and/or the establishment of the LRT Station."